Friday, August 18, 2006





Aug 20 SF BayviewCoalition BuildingMark your CalendarEnough

WHAT: Fundraising Benefit and Cookout, Coalition Building
Justice4BigO, (RIP Oliver Lefiti, Killed by SFPD 6-24-06) Justice4ASA,
(RIP Asa Sullivan, Killed by SFPD 6-6-06) Bayview CEDP
(RIP Tookie Williams/Campaign to End the Death Penalty)

WHEN: Idriss Stelley's B-Day (Killed by SFPD 6-13-01), "E" would
turn 29... Sunday 8-20-06 3 P.M.

WHERE: Children Playground
behind Brett Hart Elementary School, on Gillman, SF.Take Gillman
from 3rd St., going towards Candlestick Park by the Bay

Show your love and support to the Families of SFPD innocent victims.
Under impending Capital Punishment Federal Law, 12 Bayview
Brothers might become "Death Eligible" this year. Bayview is only
0,0001% of California, but would become 5,65% of California
death row!

Death row on the street through police Murders of our Black and
Brown Brothers &Sisters and death row in the correctional system
must GO! To volunteer, or more info: please email
iiolmisha@cs.comor call (415) 595-8251

WHAT CAN YOU DO? Distribute flyers in your Hood, Donate Food,
Donate performance (Spoken words, dance, songs), Help on Set
up and clean up crew, Chaperon the Youth at the event for safety,
Disseminate the info on the event through email and Fax blasts,
Invite all your friends! Make banners and signs (Supplies available
at ISF, 4921 3rd Street SF, Be the chef at the grill! Donate paper
plates, napkins, Lend 2 additional bullhorns, forward this Invite
to all your friends and contacts!


This convention is for all peace partners. Please circulate widely.
Reserve you seat today by sending us an email at
Hope to see all of you on August 20th 2006.
Thanks, Samina
American Muslim Voice  Foundation
creating a culture of peace, acceptance, mutual respect and harmony
Phone:  650-387-1994   
3rd Annual Convention
Ordinary People, Extraordinary Heroes
AMV needs your support urgently
Limited seating. Please purchase your ticket today.
When: Sunday – August 20th, 2006
11:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Where:  Chandni  5748 Mowry School Road Newark, CA  94560
Ticket price $25.00 (Includes Luncheon)
Special request: Could you please enrich this event
by dressing in your traditional clothing?  
We are very grateful for your support and friendship.
Looking forward to see you.The AMV Team
For more information visit


San Francisco Board of Education Meeting
Tuesday, August 22, 7:00 P.M.
Irving G. Breyer Board Meeting Room
555 Franklin Street, 1st Floor
San Francisco, CA 94102
The vote that was to take place Tuesday,
August 22 on a resolution to phase out JROTC will
be postponed until later this year.
Why queers should oppose JROTC
Guest Opinion
Published 07/27/2006 Bay Area Reporter
by Tom Ammiano, Mark Sanchez, and Tommi Avicolli Mecca]


Mumia Abu-Jamal Is In Danger
Rally In Oakland To FREE MUMIA!
4 PM Friday September 15th 2006,
Alameda County Courthouse, 12th and Fallon Sts, south side
Mumia Abu-Jamal Is Innocent!
For Labor Action To Free Mumia! End the Racist Death Penalty!

Award-winning journalist and former
Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal has
been on death row for almost a quarter
of a century, for a crime he didn't
commit. The State of Pennsylvania still
wants to execute him, and his case has been
put on a "fast track" to a final resolution.

What may be his last appeal is now
before the 3rd Circuit Court. But we
cannot rely on the courts to free Mumia;
the courts are still refusing to hear
MOUNTAINS of evidence which
conclusively shows his innocence!

In 1995, we mobilized by the thousands
to save Mumia from a date with
death. In 1999, longshore workers
shut down West Coast ports to free Mumia. In
2006, it's time to get back into action to free Mumia!

The victim of a politically motivated
frame-up of monumental proportions,
Mumia is an anti-war, anti-imperialist,
social justice spokesman with the
courage to defy the system from his jail
cell despite a determined conspiracy to
silence him forever. Known as the "Voice
of the Voiceless," Mumia is the
first to point out that his case is just one
among many injustices of this racist,
capitalist system.

Perpetrated by notoriously racist and
corrupt Philadelphia police and
prosecutors, the frame-up of Mumia
Abu-Jamal is supported by leading elements in
both the Democrat and Republican
parties. The US ruling class is so
committed to murdering this "dangerous"
inspirational figure that a resolution--full
of lies about Mumia's case--has been
introduced in Congress to demand that the
city of St Denis, France re-name a street
which was dubbed "Rue Mumia
Abu-Jamal" in a recent ceremony!

In the US, Mumia Abu-Jamal has been
made the "poster boy" for maintaining
the death penalty by the powerful few.
But to the world, Mumia is a hero and
symbol of resistance to racist oppression
and injustice.

All those who are involved in social
justice movements should help
champion his freedom and publicize
actions for his freedom.

Rally initiated by the Labor Action Committee
To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal (LAC),
PO Box 16222, Oakland CA 94610.
510 763-2347 or

Initial endorsers include: The Mobilization
To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal;
Frances Goldin, Mumia's literary agent;
Marsha Feinland, Peace and Freedom Party
candidate*; Todd Chretien, Green Party
candidate*; Robert Irminger, Inland
Boatmen‚s Union, ILWU*; Jack Heyman, ILWU*;
Bob Mandel, exec bd, Oakland Education
Association*; Bill Mandel,37 years on KPFA*;
Workers World Party of SF; Nat
Weinstein; Socialist Viewpoint Magazine;
Cristina Gutierrez; Bario Unido por
una Amnistia General; Fred Hirsch,
Plumbers & Fitters 393*; Jack Ford, past
president Teamsters 921*; Patricia
Maginnis; Emily Maloney.

Bay Area United Against War endorses this action.

*organization listed for purposes
of identification only. (Endorsers
support FREE MUMIA and the three
slogans listed above. They do not necessarily
agree with any other statement in this
announcement or with any other LAC

Endorse the rally! Send your individual
or organizational endorsement by
return email to,
or write to LAC at PO Box 16222,
Oakland CA 94610. Let us know if you
can help build the rally!

Mumia's legal defense needs funds
in this critical time. Please help!
Make checks payable to: Labor Action
Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal, and
send them to: PO Box 16222, Oakland CA 94610.
Seventy-five percent (75%) of all
contributions received under this appeal
will go directly to Mumia's legal
defense fund. The remainder will
support the work of the LAC.

For more information on Mumia's case,
go to the following web sites:,,,

- Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal


SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 16TH, 1:00 P.M. - 3:00 P.M.


Free the Cuban Five!
September 23, 2006
Washington, DC
Breaking News...
On Aug. 9, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals issued its en banc
decision denying a new trial to the Cuban Five. On August 10,
the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five, together with
the National Lawyers Guild, sponsored an emergency press
conference in Washington in response to the decision.
A partial transcript to that press conference, in English
and Spanish, is here.
A March on the White House will be held on September 23
to continue to press forward with efforts to free the Five.
We urge all supporters to make every effort to join us on
that march. A public demonstration of support for the Five,
and outrage at their continued imprisonment, has never
been more vital. Details of the march are found at the
website below.
Join us in Washington on Sept. 23! Free the Cuban Five!


U.S. Out of Iraq Now! We Are the Majority!
End Colonial Occupation from Iraq,
to Palestine, Haiti, and Everywhere!
October 28 National Day of Action
Locally Coordinated Anti-War Protests from Coast to Coast
Vote With Your Feet … and Your Voices, and Banners, and Signs!
Let Every Politician Feel the Power of the People!


October 28 National Day of Action
Locally Coordinated Anti-War Protests from Coast to Coast
Vote With Your Feet … and Your Voices, and Banners, and Signs!
Let Every Politician Feel the Power of the People!


End Canada's Occupation of Afghanistan!
Call for action on October 28, 2006

This call for a pan-Canadian day of action, co-signed by the
Canadian Peace Alliance, the Canadian Islamic Congress, the
Canadian Labour Congress and the Montreal coalition Echec
a la Guerre, is being distributed and discussed at the World Peace
Forum now taking place in Vancouver. -SV The Collectif Échec
à la guerre, Canadian Peace Alliance, the Canadian Labour Congress,
and the Canadian Islamic Congress are jointly calling for a pan-
Canadian day of protest this October 28th, 2006, to bring Canadian
troops home from Afghanistan.

On that day, people all across the country will unite to tell
Stephen Harper that we are opposed to
his wholehearted support for Canadian and U.S. militarism.
This October marks the fifth anniversary of the invasion and
occupation of Afghanistan, and the people of that country are
still suffering from the ravages of war. Reconstruction in the
country is at a standstill and the needs of the Afghan people
are not being met. The rule of the new Afghan State, made
up largely of drug running warlords, will not realize the
democratic aspirations of the people there. In fact, according
to Human Rights Watch reports, the human rights record
of those warlords in recent years has not been better than
the Taliban.

We are told that the purpose of this war is to root out terrorism
and protect our societies, yet the heavy-handed approach of
a military occupation trying to impose a US-friendly
government on the Afghan people will force more Afghans
to become part of the resistance movement. It will also
make our societies more -- not less -- likely to see terrorist

No discussion on military tactics in the House of Commons
will change that reality. Indeed, violence is increasing with
more attacks on both coalition troops and on Afghan civilians.
While individual Canadian soldiers may have gone to Afghanistan
with the best of intentions, they are operating under the
auspices of a US-led state building project that cares little
or the needs of the Afghan people. US and Canadian interests
rest with the massive $3.2 billion Trans Afghan Pipeline (TAP)
project, which will bring oil from the Caspian region through
southern Afghanistan (where Canada is stationed) and onto the
ports of Pakistan.

It has been no secret that the TAP has dominated US foreign
policy towards Afghanistan for the last decade. Now Canadian
oil and gas corporations have their own interests in the TAP.
Over the last decade, the role of the Canadian Armed Forces
abroad has changed, and Canadian foreign policy has become
a replica of the US empire-building rhetoric. The end result
of this process is now plain to see with the role of our troops
in Southern Afghanistan, with the enormous budget increases
for war expenditures and "security," with the Bush-style speeches
of Stephen Harper, and with the fear campaigns around
"homegrown terrorism" to foster support for those nefarious

It is this very course that will get young Canadian soldiers killed,
that will endanger our society and consume more and more
of its resources for destruction and death in Afghanistan.
We demand a freeze in defense and security budgets until
an in-depth public discussion is held on those issues across
Canada. The mission in Afghanistan has already cost Canadians
more than $4 billion. That money could have been used to fund
human needs in Canada or abroad. Instead it is being used
to kill civilians in Afghanistan and advance the interests
of corporations.

On October 28th, stand up and be counted.
Canadian Troops Out of Afghanistan Now!


I urge everyone to get a copy of "Sir! No Sir!" at:
It is an extremely informative and powerful film
of utmost importance today. I was a participant
in the anti-Vietnam war movement. What a
powerful thing it was to see troops in uniform
leading the march against the war! If you would
like to read more here are two very good

Out Now!: A Participant's Account of the Movement
in the United States Against the Vietnam War
by Fred Halstead (Hardcover - Jun 1978)


GIs speak out against the war;: The case of the
Ft. Jackson 8; by Fred Halstead (Unknown Binding - 1970).

Both available at:,-proj-total-margin&field-author=Fred%20Halstead

In solidarity,

Bonnie Weinstein


Endorse the following petition:
Don't Let Idaho Kill Endangered Wolves
Target: Fish and Wildlife Service
Sponsor: Defenders of Wildlife<l=1155834550


KPFA RADIO is considering airing the very informative program,
"Taking Aim," produced by Ralph Schoenman and Mya Shone. We
encourage everyone who has heard and appreciated this show
to contact KPFA's Tracy Rose and let her know you want the
show to air:

Here's my letter:

In solidarity,
Bonnie Weinstein

Dear Tracy,

The program, "Taking Aim", with Ralph Schoenman and Mya Shone
is a one-of-a-kind, powerfully informative program. Schoenman
and Shone are leading experts in the history of the Middle East with
years of experience living in the region. They are both important
reporters for news that the mainstream media tries to hide or
distort. "Taking Aim" would be a very valuable addition to the fine
programing already on KPFA.

More importantly, the information disseminating from this program
and the serious work of Schoenman and Shone, provide invaluable facts
that KPFA listeners need to hear--truth that is told nowhere else.

The more in-depth information that is made available to the general
public--your listeners--from "Taking Aim" will help to further
educate your well-informed audience.

I strongly urge you to add this program to your broadcasts.

In my opinion, "Taking Aim" and the work of Schoenman and Shone
compares well with Amy Goodman's "Democracy Now." I wish it could
be on every day.


Bonnie Weinstein, Bay Area United Against War


Stop funding Israel's war against Palestine
Complete the form at the website listed below with your information.
Personalize the message text on the right with
your own words, if you wish.
Click the Next Step button to send your letter
to these decision makers:
President George W. Bush
Vice President Richard 'Dick' B. Cheney
Your Senators
Your Representative
Go here to register your outrage:


Idriss Stelley Foundation is in critical financial crisis, please help !
ISF is in critical financial crisis, and might be forced to close
its doors in a couple of months due to lack of funds to cover
DSL, SBC and utilities, which is a disaster for our numerous
clients, since the are the only CBO providing direct services
to Victims (as well as extended failies) of police misconduct
for the whole city of SF. Any donation, big or small will help
us stay alive until we obtain our 501-c3 nonprofit Federal
Status! Checks can me made out to
ISF, ( 4921 3rd St , SF CA 94124 ). Please consider to volunteer
or apply for internship to help covering our 24HR Crisis line,
provide one on one couseling and co facilitate our support
groups, M.C a show on SF Village Voice, insure a 2hr block
of time at ISF, moderate one of our 26 websites for ISF clients !
Report Police Brutality
24HR Bilingual hotline
(415) 595-8251


Sign the petition to save Bayview Hunters Point: No more Fillmore!
Editorial by Willie Ratcliff,
As urban Black displacement grows, Bayview kicks off referendum
drive to stop Redevelopment by Randy Shaw,
Hands off Bayview Hunters Point!
An open letter to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors
Shattering the myth that our community is divided, people –
especially Black people – are lining up to sign, but we need
lots more signature gatherers. Can you commit to a few
hours with a clipboard or to passing petitions among
your co-workers, friends and family? Give us a call at
(415) 671-0789 or an email at
Now for what we’re up against: The Bay View newspaper
has been too broke to help finance the petition campaign,
very few contributions have come in and bills are overdue.
So the petition drive needs financial help … and so does
the Bay View newspaper, desperately.
The Bay View has faced many crises in the over 14 years
we’ve published it – eviction, death threats, never enough
money – yet readers have always come through, enabling
us to bounce back, tackle bigger issues and fight harder
than ever. We hate to beg, but WE NEED YOU NOW.
BAY VIEW CANNOT CONTINUE. To discuss a loan, which
we can amply collateralize, please call us at (415) 671-0789;
we’re here 24/7. Tax-deductible contributions to our
nonprofit arm, the Hurricane Relief Information Network,
are also a big help to save the hopes and the lives
of survivors who depend on the Bay View for news and resources.


Appeal for funds:
Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches
Visit the Dahr Jamail Iraq website
Request for Support
Dahr Jamail will soon return to the Middle East to continue his
independent reporting. As usual, reporting independently is a costly
enterprise; for example, an average hotel room is $50, a fixer runs $50
per day, and phone/food average $25 per day. Dahr will report from the
Middle East for one month, and thus needs to raise $5,750 in order to
cover his plane ticket and daily operating expenses.
A rare opportunity has arisen for Dahr to cover several stories
regarding the occupation of Iraq, as well as U.S. policy in the region,
which have been entirely absent from mainstream media.
With the need for independent, unfiltered information greater than ever,
your financial support is deeply appreciated. Without donations from
readers, ongoing independent reports from Dahr are simply not possible.
All donations go directly towards covering Dahr's on the ground
operating expenses.
(c)2006 Dahr Jamail.


New Flash Film
From Young Ava Over At 'Peace Takes Courage'


Save the Lebanese Civilians Petition
To The Concerned Citizen of The World:


Legal update on Mumia Abu-Jamal’s case
Excerpts from a letter written by Robert R. Bryan, the lead attorney
for death row political prisoner, Mumia Abu-Jamal.
...On July 20, 2006, we filed the Brief of Appellee and Cross
Appellant, Mumia Abu-Jamal, in the U.S. Court of Appeals
for the Third Circuit, Philadelphia.


Today in Palestine!
For up to date information on Israeli's brutal attack on
human rights and freedom in Palestine and Lebanon go to:


For a great car magnet--a black ribbon with the words, "Bring
the troops home now!" written in red, and it also comes in a
lapel pin!--go to:
(Put out by A.N.S.W.E.R.)


Essential reading for understanding the development of Zionism
and Israel in the service of British and USA imperialism.
The full text of the book can be found for free at:


For those of you who don't know who Lynne Stewart is, go to and get acquainted with Lynne and her
cause. Lynne is a criminal defense attorney who is being persecuted
for representing people charged with heinous crimes. It is a bedrock
of our legal system that every criminal defendant has a right to a
lawyer. Persecuting Lynne is an attempt to terrorize and intimidate
all criminal defense attorneys in this country so they will stop
representing unpopular people. If this happens, the fascist takeover
of this nation will be complete. We urge you all to go the website,
familiarize yourselves with Lynne and her battle for justice


Comité Nacional por la Libertad de los Cinco Cubanos
Who are the Cuban Five?
The Cuban Five are five Cuban men who are in U.S. prison, serving
four life sentences and 75 years collectively, after being wrongly
convicted in U.S. federal court in Miami, on June 8, 2001.
They are Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero,
Fernando González and René González.
The Five were falsely accused by the U.S. government of committing
espionage conspiracy against the United States, and other related
But the Five pointed out vigorously in their defense that they were
involved in monitoring the actions of Miami-based terrorist groups,
in order to prevent terrorist attacks on their country of Cuba.
The Five’s actions were never directed at the U.S. government.
They never harmed anyone nor ever possessed nor used any
weapons while in the United States.
The Cuban Five’s mission was to stop terrorism
For more than 40 years, anti-Cuba terrorist organizations based
in Miami have engaged in countless terrorist activities against
Cuba, and against anyone who advocates a normalization
of relations between the U.S. and Cuba. More than 3,000 Cubans
have died as a result of these terrorists’ attacks.

2 Life Sentences

Life Sentence

Life Sentence

19 Years

15 Years

Free The Cuban Five Held Unjustly In The U.S.!


Eyewitness Account from Oaxaca
A website is now being circulated that has up-to-date info
and video that can be downloaded of the police action and
developments in Oaxaca. For those who have not seen it
elsewhere, the website is:




Iraq Body Count
For current totals, see our database page.


The Cost of War
[Over three-hundred-billion so]


"The Democrats always promise to help workers, and the don't!
The Republicans always promise to help business, and the do!"
- Mort Sahl

"It's better to die on your feet than to live on your knees."
- Emilano Zapata

Join the Campaign to
Shut Down the Guantanamo Torture Center
Go to:
to send a letter to Congress and the White House:
Shut Down Guantanamo and all torture centers and prisons.
A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
Act Now to Stop War & End Racism
2489 Mission St. Rm. 24
San Francisco: 415-821-6545


Great Counter-Recruitment Website



Last summer the U.S. Border Patrol arrested Shanti Sellz and
Daniel Strauss, both 23-year-old volunteers assisting immigrants
on the border, for medically evacuating 3 people in critical
condition from the Arizona desert.

Criminalization for aiding undocumented immigrants already
exists on the books in the state of Arizona. Daniel and Shanti
are targeted to be its first victims. Their arrest and subsequent
prosecution for providing humanitarian aid could result in
a 15-year prison sentence. Any Congressional compromise
with the Sensenbrenner bill (HR 4437) may include these
harmful criminalization provisions. Fight back NOW!

Help stop the criminalization of undocumented immigrants
and those who support them!

For more information call 415-821- 9683.
For information on the Daniel and Shanti Defense Campaign,


According to "Minimum Wage History" at "

"Calculated in real 2005 dollars, the 1968 minimum wage was the
highest at $9.12. "The 8 dollar per hour Whole Foods employees
are being paid $1.12 less than the 1968 minimum wage.

"A federal minimum wage was first set in 1938. The graph shows
both nominal (red) and real (blue) minimum wage values. Nominal
values range from 25 cents per hour in 1938 to the current $5.15/hr.
The greatest percentage jump in the minimum wage was in 1950,
when it nearly doubled. The graph adjusts these wages to 2005
dollars (blue line) to show the real value of the minimum wage.
Calculated in real 2005 dollars, the 1968 minimum wage was the
highest at $9.12. Note how the real dollar minimum wage rises and
falls. This is because it gets periodically adjusted by Congress.
The period 1997-2006, is the longest period during which the
minimum wage has not been adjusted. States have departed from
the federal minimum wage. Washington has the highest minimum
wage in the country at $7.63 as of January 1, 2006. Oregon is next
at $7.50. Cities, too, have set minimum wages. Santa Fe, New
Mexico has a minimum wage of $9.50, which is more than double
the state minimum wage at $4.35."




Public Law print of PL 107-110, the No Child Left Behind
Act of 2001 [1.8 MB]
Also, the law is up before Congress again in 2007.
See this article from USA Today:
Bipartisan panel to study No Child Left Behind
By Greg Toppo, USA TODAY
February 13, 2006


The Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies


Bill of Rights


1) The case against the JROTC
By Tom Ammiano, Mark Sanchez, and Tommi Avicolli Mecca

2) The Tyranny of Fear
August 17, 2006

3) New Limits Set Over Marketing for Cigarettes
Wall Street analysts hailed the case as a big victory for the
companies. “There’s nothing in this ruling that is going to hurt
the profitability of the businesses,” said David Adelman,
an analyst at Morgan Stanley.
August 18, 2006

4) Ford to Slash Production and Shutter Plants
Filed at 11:28 a.m. ET
August 18, 2006

5) Raul Castro Makes 1st Public Comments
Filed at 8:26 a.m. ET
August 18, 2006

6) Bush Signs Law to Overhaul Pension Rules
At the same time, the law recognizes the evolution in workers'
benefits -- a gradual disappearance of pensions in favor of savings
accounts such as 401(k)s that require workers to amass
their own retirement savings.
Filed at 2:20 a.m. ET
August 18, 2006

7) It’s the Law, but Is the Law Meaningless?
WHEN corporations do well, the bosses do much, much better
than the workers. But what happens if everything goes wrong?
August 18, 2006

8) No enemy can defeat us
Raul Castro's previous major public commentary, made June 14, 2006:
August 18, 2006

9) Reservists: Officers stopped us from attending anti-war protest
By Nir Hasson, Haaretz Correspondent
Last update - 07:51 18/08/2006

10) Rural Oregon Town Feels Pinch of Poverty
August 20, 2006

11) Hold the Champagne
New York Times Editorial
August 19, 2006

12) Chicago Woman’s Stand Stirs Immigration Debate
August 19, 2006

13) On Technical Grounds, Judge Sets Aside
Verdict of Billing Fraud in Iraq Rebuilding
August 19, 2006

14) Immigration May Tip Vote in California
August 20, 2006

15) Israel Committed to Block Arms and Kill Nasrallah
August 20, 2006

16) Venezuela Says It Seized 4 Spies; U.S. Embassy Denies Knowledge
August 20, 2006

17) Subdued Growth, Cheerful Rallies
August 20, 2006


1) The case against the JROTC
By Tom Ammiano, Mark Sanchez, and Tommi Avicolli Mecca

Make no bones about it: the Junior Reserve Officer Training
Corps (JROTC) is a program of the US Department of Defense.
Its purpose is clear: to recruit high school students into the
military. Two years ago, 59 percent of San Franciscans
demonstrated their disapproval of that sort of recruiting
by supporting Proposition I. It's time for the Board of Education
to follow the wishes of those voters and phase out the JROTC
in favor of a nonmilitary program.

On Aug. 22, [This vote has been] it's very likely
that the San Francisco school board will do just that. Before
the board is a proposal to not only ease out the JROTC but
also form a blue-ribbon panel to find an alternative.

It's not a new idea. In the mid-1990s, a similar board proposal
failed by a 4–3 vote. This time the vote will probably be reversed.
Phasing out the JROTC in San Francisco should be a breeze.
Two years ago, a measure to put the city on record as wanting
to bring the troops home from Iraq passed by 64 percent.
Since Sept. 11, hundreds of thousands of San Franciscans
have protested the wars in the Middle East. There's no other
city in this country with so much antiwar activity. So what's
the problem?

It's the kids. The JROTC has successfully organized scores
of young people (mostly white and Asian) to attend school
board meetings to testify about the benefits of the program.
A few LGBT kids have said that the local chapter of the JROTC
does not discriminate, which JROTC officials confirm. What they
don't talk about is the fact that a queer kid can't be out
(or found out) in the armed forces. Since 1994, when "Don't
Ask, Don't Tell" was first implemented, more than 11,182
queers have received the boot. There are also beatings and
harassment to contend with in the military if you're suspected
of being queer. It's not a pretty picture.

The JROTC doesn't tell kids that a lot of what the recruiters
promise is a lie — the kids might not get the educational
benefits and job training promised in all the promotional
materials. As Z Magazine reported (August 2005), 57 percent
of military personnel receive absolutely no educational benefits.
What's more, only 12 percent of men and 6 percent of women
who have served in the military ever use job skills obtained
from their service. As Lucinda Marshall noted in an
Aug. 24, 2005, article on ZNet, "According to the Veterans
Administration, veterans earn less, make up 1/3 of homeless
men and 20% of the nation's prison population."
Be all that you can be?

Education was never the point of the military, of course.
As former secretary of defense Dick Cheney once said,
"The reason to have a military is to be prepared to fight
and win wars.... It's not a social welfare agency, it's not
a jobs program."

Let's not sell our youth short. Or make them fodder for oil
wars. Or subject them to antiqueer discrimination and hate
crimes. Let's give them all the skills they need to make their
lives the best they can be. We can do that without the military.

Tom Ammiano, Mark Sanchez, and Tommi Avicolli Mecca

Tom Ammiano is a queer former school board president
and current supervisor of District 9. Mark Sanchez, the
only queer member of the current San Francisco Board
of Education, authored the current anti-JROTC resolution.
Tommi Avicolli Mecca is a queer antiwar activist who was
recently honored by the American Friends Service Committee.


2) The Tyranny of Fear
August 17, 2006

Abdallah Higazy was on the phone from Cairo. “To describe it as
frustrating would be an understatement,” he said, “because you
know you’re telling the truth. And you know the people speaking
to you have incorrect information about you.”

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Mr. Higazy, the son of a former
Egyptian diplomat, was in a room on the 51st floor of the Millenium
Hilton Hotel, directly across the street from the World Trade Center.
He was a student at the time, having won a scholarship to study
computer engineering at Polytechnic University in Brooklyn.
The Institute of International Education had arranged for him
to stay at the hotel while he looked for permanent housing.

Like everyone else, Mr. Higazy fled the hotel after the planes
hit the towers. He left behind his passport and other personal
items. When he returned to collect his belongings three months
later, he was arrested by the F.B.I. A hotel security guard claimed
to have found an aviation radio, which could be used to
communicate with airborne pilots, in the safe in Mr. Higazy’s

“That’s impossible,” said Mr. Higazy.

It’s a fact, said the F.B.I.

Mr. Higazy was handcuffed, strip-searched and thrown into
prison — as a material witness. No one knew what to charge
him with. They just knew they wanted to hold him.

Mr. Higazy was all but overwhelmed with fear. “I didn’t sleep
that first night,” he told me. “I was shivering, and it wasn’t
from the cold.”

Like an accused witch in Salem, Mr. Higazy was dangerously
close to being sacrificed on the altar of hysteria. He kept
telling authorities he knew nothing about the radio. But the
assumption was that he was lying.

As there was no evidence that he had committed a crime,
it was considered important that Mr. Higazy confess to
something. He said an F.B.I. agent, Michael Templeton,
told him during an interview that if he didn’t cooperate,
his family in Cairo would be put at the mercy of Egyptian
security, which Mr. Templeton would later acknowledge
has a reputation for torture. He said the agent also
threatened to report that in his “expert opinion”
Mr. Higazy was a terrorist.

Fear turned to panic. Mr. Higazy began to search frantically
for a story that would satisfy Mr. Templeton. His first few
attempts were preposterous. He said he had found the
radio outside J&R Music World in lower Manhattan.
Then he said he’d stumbled across it on the other side
of the Brooklyn Bridge. The story finally decided upon
was that he had stolen the radio from the Egyptian Air Force.

He was charged with lying to federal agents — the lie
being his initial claim that the radio wasn’t his. Clueless
prosecutors stressed in court that Mr. Higazy should
be subject to more than 20 years imprisonment.

A month after Mr. Higazy was arrested, a miracle occurred
— in the form of a pilot who strolled into the Millenium
Hilton Hotel, looking for his radio. The pilot was an
American citizen, and thus believable. He had left the radio
in his room on the 50th floor, one flight down from
Mr. Higazy’s room. Mr. Higazy had been telling the
truth all along.

It turned out that the security guard, Ronald Ferry, had
been lying. He hadn’t found the radio in Mr. Higazy’s safe.
He had made up that story, hoping to steal a bit part in one
of the biggest investigations ever. It seems a co-worker had
actually found the radio, on a table somewhere. Mr. Ferry
was charged with making false statements to the F.B.I. and
sentenced to six months of weekends in prison.

Mr. Higazy filed a lawsuit against Mr. Templeton, claiming
he had illegally coerced his confession. But an in-house
investigation by the F.B.I. found there was no evidence
of wrongdoing, and a federal judge — while acknowledging
that the confession had been coerced — threw out the suit.

All the authorities have to do nowadays is claim that a case
is linked to terror and they can get away with just about
anything. The rule of law is succumbing to the tyranny
of fear. (There’s no telling how many Abdallah Higazys
have been swept up in the so-called war on terror and
imprisoned, or worse.)

Jonathan Abady, a lawyer for Mr. Higazy, said an appeal
has been filed on his behalf.

Mr. Higazy, who has since married and is now a teacher
in Cairo, told me he is angry with Mr. Ferry and Mr. Templeton,
but that he’s not bitter. He offered his thanks to those Americans
“who stood by me and believed in my innocence.”


3) New Limits Set Over Marketing for Cigarettes
Wall Street analysts hailed the case as a big victory for the
companies. “There’s nothing in this ruling that is going to hurt
the profitability of the businesses,” said David Adelman,
an analyst at Morgan Stanley.
August 18, 2006

WASHINGTON, Aug. 17 — A federal judge ordered strict new limitations
on tobacco marketing on Thursday after finding that cigarette makers
deserved to be punished for a decades-old conspiracy to deceive the
public about the dangers of smoking.

The deception, Judge Gladys Kessler of Federal District Court for the
District of Columbia said, resulted in “an immeasurable amount
of human suffering.”

But in her ruling here in a racketeering suit brought by the Justice
Department against the industry, Judge Kessler also had good news
for the leading tobacco companies.

Judge Kessler ordered the companies to stop labeling cigarettes as
“low tar” or “light” or “natural” or with other “deceptive brand descriptors
which implicitly or explicitly convey to the smoker and potential smoker
that they are less hazardous to health than full-flavor cigarettes.”

She rejected a government proposal that the industry be forced to
underwrite a multibillion-dollar program to help smokers quit and
to educate young people about the hazards of tobacco. Judge Kessler
said that under a recent appeals court ruling she had no power
to impose such large financial damages.

The judge said she regretted not being able to punish the companies

Her ruling said they were shown in a nine-month trial to have
“marketed and sold their lethal product with zeal, with deception,
with a single-minded focus on their financial success and without
regard for the human tragedy or social costs that success exacted.”

Her 1,742-page decision amounted to a detailed history of the
efforts of the industry — and, notably, its lawyers — over almost
50 years to confuse the public about a danger that was evident
to the health professions.

Cigarette makers, the judge said, profit from “selling a highly
addictive product which causes diseases that lead to a staggering
number of deaths per year, an immeasurable amount of human
suffering and economic loss and a profound burden our national
health care system.”

Although the failure to impose tougher penalties disappointed
antitobacco groups, the decision could force tobacco companies
to overhaul some ways of doing business, especially in marketing
and advertising cigarettes and other tobacco products.

Judge Kessler also ordered the companies to begin an advertising
campaign in newspapers and on television networks on
“the adverse health effects of smoking.”

The remedies apply to Batco; Brown & Williamson; Lorillard; Philip
Morris and its parent, Altria; and R. J. Reynolds, part of Reynolds
American. Another defendant, Liggett, was excluded. The judge
said it did “not have a reasonable likelihood of future violations.”

The Justice Department, which brought the case in 1999 in the
Clinton administration and had seemed less eager to pursue
it under President Bush, said in a statement it was disappointed
that the court did not impose all of the penalties the department
had recommended.

But the department said that it was “hopeful that the remedies
that were imposed by the court have a significant, positive
impact on the health of the American people.’’

In a statement on Thursday night, William S. Ohlemeyer, an
Altria vice president and lawyer, said the companies believed
that many parts of the decision were “not supported by the law
or the evidence presented at trial, and appear to be constitutionally
impermissible or infringe on Congress’ sole right to provide for the
regulation of tobacco products.”

Wall Street analysts hailed the case as a big victory for the companies.
“There’s nothing in this ruling that is going to hurt the profitability
of the businesses,” said David Adelman, an analyst at Morgan Stanley.

Mr. Adelman said the ruling threw into question the fate of major
brands like Marlboro Lights and Camel Lights. Sales of light brands
constitute more than 50 percent of the cigarette market in the United
States, according to Mr. Adelman.

Analysts also said they believed that the companies had strong
legal grounds for a successful appeal.

“The likelihood that the ‘light’ issue ends here is low,” said Marc
Greenberg, an analyst at Deutsche Bank. “I think this will get appealed
to D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, and there may even be issues here
for the Supreme Court.”

William V. Corr, executive director of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free
Kids, an antismoking group linked to the government suit, said he had
hoped for tougher penalties. But Mr. Corr said he was pleased that that
the judge had identified the tobacco companies as a “rogue industry”
that was guilty of “50 years of lying to the American people.”

Mr. Adelman said he did not think that the companies would be
damaged by the finding that they were deceptive. “This industry
is not a bunch of Boy Scouts,” he said. “It’s an industry that was not
well regarded by the public, anyway. So I don’t think there are significant
public relations or legal ramifications from the decision.”

The decision was issued after American stock markets had closed.
In early after-hours trading, the stocks of Altria, Reynolds American
and other tobacco makers rose.

Among the companies named in the suit, Altria, the country’s largest
maker of cigarettes, stands to gain the most, as the ruling clears the way
for a much anticipated spinoff of its Kraft Foods unit.

The Associated Press reported that a spokesman for Reynolds, Mark
Smith, said executives were “gratified that the court did not award
unjustified and extraordinarily expensive monetary penalties.”

Mr. Smith said Reynolds was disappointed by other parts of the ruling,
which its lawyers will analyze before suggesting action.

Representatives at Brown & Williamson did not return calls.

Before the ruling, tobacco companies had won a string of victories
in cases involving the dangers of smoking. Last month, the Florida
Supreme Court upheld a decision to toss out a $145 billion judgment
in a class-action suit. In December, the Illinois Supreme Court threw
out a similar $10 billion judgment against Philip Morris.

Cigarette makers have argued that it was unfair for the federal
government to seek additional penalties in light of their $246
billion settlement in 1998 with state governments.

The federal case dates from 1999, when President Bill Clinton
promised in his State of the Union address to unleash the Justice
Department to bring a civil racketeering suit against tobacco
manufacturers. The suit filed that year was one of the government’s
largest in the scope of charges and the resources devoted to it,
accusing cigarette makers of decades of fraud, deceptive advertising
and dangerous marketing.

But the election of Mr. Bush, a major recipient of campaign donations
from the industry, brought a re-examination of the case. John Ashcroft,
the new attorney general, called the suit weak and pushed for
an out-of-court settlement.

Career prosecutors working on the case protested a Justice Department
decision last year to scale back its request for the companies to finance
the national stop-smoking campaign, to $10 billion from $130 billion.

The department said it was forced to reduce the amount because of
an appeals court decision last year that blocked the department from
trying to seize ill-gotten profits from the tobacco industry’s past practices.
At the time, Judge Kessler said the appeals court decision was
a “body blow to the government’s case.”

Melanie Warner contributed reporting from Boulder, Colo., for this article.


4) Ford to Slash Production and Shutter Plants
Filed at 11:28 a.m. ET
August 18, 2006

DETROIT (AP) -- Ford Motor Co. on Friday announced sharp cuts
in its North American production that would force it to partially
shut down plants in the United States and Canada in the fourth

The company said fourth-quarter production would be down
21 percent, or 168,000 units, from last year. Third-quarter
production will be 20,000 units below what was previously

For the full year, Ford plans to produce about 9 percent
fewer vehicles than last year.

''We know this decision will have a dramatic impact on our
employees, as well as our suppliers,'' Chairman and Chief
Executive Bill Ford said in a note to employees. ''This is, however,
the right call for our customers, our dealers and our
long-term future.''

Dearborn-based Ford, which lost $254 million in the second
quarter, vowed last month to speed up its North American

Bill Ford told employees the cuts are part of that acceleration
and said full details of more actions will be announced
in September.

The nation's second-largest automaker said the cuts are
an effort to match inventories to demand and avoid costly
incentives. The plan also reflects reduced expectations for
big trucks and sport utility vehicles considering high gas
prices, the company said.

The new production plan will result in downtime this year
at assembly plants in St. Thomas, Ontario; Chicago; Wixom, Mich.;
Louisville, Ky.; Wayne, Mich.; St. Paul, Minn.; Kansas City, Mo.;
Norfolk, Va.; and Dearborn, Mich., Ford said

The Wall Street Journal, citing unidentified sources, reported
Friday that Ford is considering shutting down more factories
and cutting salaried jobs and benefits by 10 percent to 30 percent.

Ford spokesman Oscar Suris declined to comment on the report.

Company officials would not say what specific impact the production
cuts would have on workers. In general, hourly workers placed
on temporary layoff receive 95 percent of their wages through
state unemployment benefits and a supplement by Ford.

The United Auto Workers had no immediate comment on the

Ford shares dropped 20 cents, or 2.45 percent, to $7.97 in morning
trading on the New York Stock Exchange.


5) Raul Castro Makes 1st Public Comments
Filed at 8:26 a.m. ET
August 18, 2006

HAVANA (AP) -- In his first public comments since becoming Cuba's
acting president, Raul Castro said his brother Fidel is recovering and
that thousands of troops were mobilized soon after his illness was
announced, according to an interview published Friday.

Raul Castro, 75, thanked the doctors and others who have cared
for his brother, saying they ''have attended to him in an excellent
manner ... with much love and dedication. This has been a very
important factor in Fidel's progressive recovery.''

Raul Castro, the nation's Defense Minister, said he mobilized the
island nation's troops in the hours after his brother's illness was
announced July 31.

''We could not rule out the risk of somebody going crazy, or even
crazier, within the U.S. government,'' he told Lazaro Barredo, editor
of the Communist Party's Granma newspaper.

''I decided to substantially raise our combative capacity ... including
the mobilization of several tens of thousands of reservists
and militia members,'' he said.

A noticeable but still discreet increase in the number of reservists
on Cuba's streets was evident in the first days after it was announced
Fidel had undergone intestinal surgery. Cubans were asked to affirm
their allegiance to the government and willingness to fight for it
in the event of an attack.

Raul Castro, has been at his brother's side since launching the
revolution with the attack on the Moncada military barracks in 1953
and fought with him in the Sierra Maestra mountains against the
dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista. As No. 2 man in the government,
the younger Castro is constitutionally designated to replace
his brother should he die or become incapacitated.

The government has treated Fidel Castro's ailment, his exact
condition and the type of surgery he underwent as a ''state secret.''

While Fidel Castro recovers, ''absolute tranquility is reigning in
the country,'' the younger brother said.

The younger Castro said that the Cuban people's calm manner
in the more than two weeks following his brother's illness ''reminded
me of the conduct of the Cuban people during the heroic days
of the so-called Missile Crisis in October 1962.''

Raul Castro noted that international media had commented on
his absence from public view in the days after he took provisional
power, adding that ''those comments don't bother me in the slightest.''

He said he did care about what the Cuban people are thinking,
however, and pointed out that he appeared on state television on
Sunday, his brother's 80th birthday, to greet visiting Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez at the airport. He also appeared in photographs
of a birthday gathering with his brother and Chavez.

''As a point of fact, I am not used to making frequent appearances
in public, except at times when it is required,'' Raul Castro said in the
interview. ''Many tasks related to defense should not be made public
and have to be handled with maximum care, and that has been one
of my fundamental responsibilities'' as Defense Minister.

He also noted that ''I have always been discreet, that is my way, and
in passing I will clarify that I am thinking of continuing in that way,''
Raul Castro added. ''But that has not been the fundamental reason
why I don't appear very often in the mass media; simply,
it has not been necessary.''


6) Bush Signs Law to Overhaul Pension Rules
At the same time, the law recognizes the evolution in workers'
benefits -- a gradual disappearance of pensions in favor of savings
accounts such as 401(k)s that require workers to amass
their own retirement savings.
Filed at 2:20 a.m. ET
August 18, 2006

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush signed a broad overhaul
of pension and savings rules Thursday, giving millions of people
a better chance of getting the retirement benefits they have earned.

The law, passed with fanfare by Congress two weeks ago, gives
companies seven years to shore up funding of their traditional
pensions, also known as defined benefit plans. Special rules
for seriously underfunded companies require them to catch up faster.

The 30,000 such plans run by employers are estimated to be
underfunded by $450 billion.

''Americans who spent a lifetime working hard should be confident
that their pensions will be there when they retire,'' Bush said.

He added a stern instruction to corporate America.

''You should keep the promises you make to your workers,''
the president said. ''If you offer a private pension plan to your
employees, you have a duty to set aside enough money now
so your workers will get what they've been promised when
they retire.''

At the same time, the law recognizes the evolution in workers'
benefits -- a gradual disappearance of pensions in favor
of savings accounts such as 401(k)s that require workers
to amass their own retirement savings.

Those accounts, also known as defined contribution plans,
got a boost in the new law. It is this step that many expect
will do the most over time to help people working toward

The law lets employers automatically enroll workers
in 401(k) plans. In addition, there is a mechanism to increase
gradually the amount saved, and employers are encouraged
to match some of the dollars that workers stash away.

A nonprofit research organization, the Retirement Security
Project, estimated that the change, when fully in effect, could
mean employees will save an additional $10 billion
to $15 billion in 401(k) accounts each year.

''Those additional contributions will bolster retirement security
for millions of workers,'' said Peter Orszag, director of the project,
which works to improve retirement benefits for low-
and middle-income workers.

Some changes were sparked by corporate scandals that saw
workers, who had put much of their nest egg in company stock,
lose their retirement savings. The new law requires companies
to give their workers more investment options.

The law is not without its critics, some of whom say it does
nothing to encourage employers to offer pension benefits
and the reliable income they give retirees.

Rep. Charles Rangel of New York, the top Democrat on the
House Ways and Means Committee, said lawmakers may look
back at the law as the ''Trojan horse that brought the end
of the defined benefit pension system.''

''Erosion of the defined benefit pension system represents
a dangerous shift from a 'we' society to a 'me' society, where
every worker is on his or her own,'' he said.

The ERISA Industry Committee, which represents the retirement,
health and compensation plans of the nation's largest employers,
said the number of defined benefit pension plans fell from
112,000 in 1985 to fewer than 30,000 in 2004.

Of those still in place, the group said, many are closed to new
participants or frozen, preventing employees from earning
new benefits.

''With each past reform -- often based on government revenue
needs -- employers have exited the defined benefit system as
a result of the governments changes, which often resulted
in burdensome and costly regulations,'' said Mark Ugoretz,
the committee's president.

Leaders hope these revisions will prevent a costly taxpayer
bailout of the federal agency that insures the pension system,
the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. Some fear taxpayers will
pay if too many companies dump their plans at once.

''Every American has an interest in seeing this system fixed,
whether you're a worker at a company with an underfunded
pension or a taxpayer who might get stuck with the bill,''
Bush said.

The law also:

--gives airlines that are in bankruptcy proceedings and have
frozen their pensions an extra 10 years, or 17 years total,
to meet their funding obligations. Others with active plans
get 10 years to meet their obligations.

--requires companies to give employees more information
about their pensions.

--puts certain ''hybrid'' plans, which have been challenged
as discriminating against older workers, on stronger legal footing.

--says companies with seriously underfunded plans cannot
promise their workers bigger benefits.

--makes permanent the higher savings contribution limits that
were set to expire in the next decade. People can now put more
money in their IRA and 401(k) accounts in the coming years.
That includes a new option made available this year known
as Roth 401(k)s. Those accounts let workers pay tax on their
earnings before saving, but the money then accumulates and
can be spent in retirement tax-free.

The Human Rights Campaign praised the law for changes that
the group said will help same-sex couples by expanding benefits
once only allowed for spouses or dependents.

Bush praised the measure for enacting the most sweeping overhaul
in more than 30 years. But he said the changes must be coupled
with revisions to the two government programs that benefit
retirees, Social Security and Medicare.

''As more baby boomers stop contributing payroll taxes and start
collecting benefits -- people like me -- it will create an enormous
strain on our programs,'' said Bush, who turned 60 last month.


7) It’s the Law, but Is the Law Meaningless?
WHEN corporations do well, the bosses do much, much better
than the workers. But what happens if everything goes wrong?
August 18, 2006

WHEN corporations do well, the bosses do much, much better than
the workers. But what happens if everything goes wrong?

The Dana Corporation, an auto parts maker, is facing lawsuits
claiming that it manipulated its books to hide rising costs before
it filed for bankruptcy early this year. It is considering reducing
or eliminating retiree health benefits. But at the same time,
the bosses, including the chief executive, Michael J. Burns,
want guaranteed multimillion-dollar payouts.

This week, the creditors committees asked a bankruptcy court
to block the contracts, which would entitle Mr. Burns to a $3
million bonus just for staying on the job until the bankruptcy
is over. If the company’s value stays where it is now, he gets
another $3 million, but he would get less if it declined. His $5.9
million pension — which now could be reduced if other creditors
take haircuts — would be guaranteed.

John Dempsey, a principal at Mercer Consulting, which helped
devise the pay package, told the court that even if Mr. Burns
did a great job this year, his current contract would reward him
with only $3.1 million, about half the amount contemplated
when he was hired in 2004 and just a third of what bosses
get at comparable companies that are not in bankruptcy.
He said something needed to be done to offset the fact that
Mr. Burns’s stock and options are now close to worthless.

It is remarkable that when unexpected good news makes
a chief executive’s options worth hundreds of millions more
than was anticipated, no board ever considers reducing future
payments to compensate for the windfall. But when companies
fail to do well, executives need new pay structures to,
as Mr. Dempsey put it, “incentivize them to focus on and
complete the restructuring expeditiously.”

Those complaining say that Dana ignored a provision of the
bankruptcy law passed by Congress last year. That bill, whose
main purpose was to make it easier for credit card companies
to be repaid, also contained a section that was supposed
to prevent companies from rewarding top executives with
rich retention payments while others were suffering.

To pay a retention bonus, the company must show that the
executive is “essential to the survival of the business” and that
he or she has a bona fide competing offer from another
company offering at least the same pay. Even then, the law
puts limits on the amount.

There is no claim that Mr. Burns or his colleagues have other
job offers, and some creditors heap scorn on the idea,
questioning, in the words of a lawyer for one group of
creditors, whether competitors are “actively seeking
members of a management team that led Dana to financial

The company evidently deems the new section of the law
irrelevant, and figures that so long as it does not call
a retention payment by that name, it can hand out big
bonuses based on no more success than getting through
the bankruptcy process, even if shareholders and creditors
are wiped out.

It wants the judge to bow to the business judgment of the
company’s board. That would be the same board that doubled
the company’s dividend a few days after hiring Mr. Burns
in early 2004, two years before it filed for bankruptcy protection.

Dana views it as unfair to blame Mr. Burns for the bankruptcy,
and no one doubts the company faced real problems as its
customers cut purchases and demanded to pay less while
Dana’s costs were rising.

But more is at stake than just how many millions will go to
Mr. Burns, who declined an interview request. The issue is
whether the new bankruptcy law will mean anything at all,
or whether it will be another law that sounded good but
was easily evaded.

In a decision in the US Airways case last year, a bankruptcy
judge in Virginia delayed a decision on retention and
severance payments for top officers until after the case
was concluded. He pointed to the new law, although
it was not then in effect, and said it was a reaction to
the “shady reputation” of executive retention plans
in some bankruptcies.

“All too often,” wrote Judge Stephen S. Mitchell, the plans
“have been used to reward the very executives whose bad
decisions or lack of foresight were responsible for the
debtors’ financial plight.

“But even when external circumstances rather than the
executives are to blame,” the judge added, “there is
something inherently unseemly in the effort to insulate
the executives from the financial risks all other stakeholders
face in the bankruptcy process.”

Congress tried to do something about that. It is now up
to the courts to decide whether it succeeded.


8) No enemy can defeat us
Raul Castro's previous major public commentary, made June 14, 2006:
August 18, 2006

Affirms Raúl in a statement to Granma. He affirmed that Fidel
continues to improve and thanked people for the thousands of messages
of solidarity and support from our country and abroad. Measures have
been taken to prevent any attempt at aggression. The people are
giving a conclusive demonstration of confidence in themselves


Foto: JORGE LUIS GONZÁLEZThe General of the Army Raúl Castro Ruz has
offered an interview to Granma daily. The conversation took place in
his office at the Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (MINFAR)
and focused on the principal events of recent days.

Comrade Raúl, our people joyfully received the message and
photographs of the Comandante en Jefe published in the press and the
subsequent television report of the encounter with president Chávez.
Nevertheless, taking advantage of this opportunity, it would be
greatly appreciated by millions of people who have attentively
followed information on the state of health of compañero Fidel, to
hear your personal assessment, as someone always so united to him.

Without any doubt, what most interests all of us at this time is the
Jefe‚s health.

On behalf of all the people, I will begin by congratulating and
thanking the doctors and the other compañeros and compañeras who have
attended to him in an excellent manner, with an unsurpassable
professionalism and, above all, with much love and dedication. This
has been a very important factor in Fidel‚s progressive recovery.

Moreover, I think that his exceptional physical and mental nature has
also been essential to his satisfactory and gradual recovery.

We Cubans, even when we don‚t see you for a while on television or in
the written press, know that you are there, at your combat post as
always. But I think that these words of yours will also disarm the
speculation and lies present in some of the foreign media.

If you are referring to those in other countries who entertain
themselves by speculating about if I am going to appear on television
or in the papers or not; well, I appeared with Fidel on Sunday
(August 13) and when I received President Chávez , although really
those comments don‚t bother me in the slightest.

What does interest me greatly is what our people are thinking,
although, fortunately, we live in this geographically small island,
where everything that we are doing is known. I can confirm that when
I talk with the population or other local leaders in my tours of the

As a point of fact, I am not used to making frequent appearances in
public, except at times when it is required. Many tasks related to
defense should not be made public and have to be handled with maximum
care, and that has been one of my fundamental responsibilities as FAR
minister. Moreover, I have always been discreet, that is my way, and
in passing I will clarify that I am thinking of continuing in that
way. But that has not been the fundamental reason why I don‚t appear
very often in the mass media; simply, it has not been necessary.

No essential orientation has been overlooked

Effectively, the Comandante en Jefe‚s Proclamation gave the
information that could be given at that time and moreover, proposed
specific tasks for everyone. The main thing is to dedicate oneself in
body and soul to fulfilling them. That is what all the leaders at
different levels have been doing, together with our people who have
known how to maintain an exemplary discipline, vigilance and working

On behalf of the Comandante en Jefe and the Party leadership, I will
take the opportunity of thanking everyone for the innumerable
displays of support for the Revolution and for the content of his
Proclamation, as well as the demonstrations of affection that have
been expressed by figures from the cultural sector; professionals and
workers in all sectors; campesinos, soldiers, housewives, students,
pioneers; among them numerous believers, public figures and religious
institutions from the overwhelming majority of denominations;
finally, the people of Cuba. It has been a conclusive demonstration
of their unbreakable unity and their revolutionary consciousness,
essential pillars of the fortitude of our country.

The breadth of support coming from all over the world has also been

Yes, really heartening. That is why I should also like to express
thanks for the numerous messages of solidarity and respect from all
over the world, from people of the most diverse social categories,
from simple workers to intellectual and political figures, as well as
a significant and representative number of religious institutions and
figures. All of them have done so without any conditions whatsoever.
Messages from the few who did not act in that way were not accepted
or acknowledged.

Foto: JORGE LUIS GONZÁLEZAlso, they have been joined to date (August
17) by some 12,000 signatories supporting the call made 10 days ago
by prominent cultural personalities from more than 100 countries,
among them various Nobel Prize winners, condemning the interfering
and aggressive statements of the government of the United States, and
which also exposes the openly interventionist nature of the Bush
Plan, as we are calling that monster that would seem to be dusted off
from the times when ˆ as at the end of the 19th century and the
beginning of the 20th ˆ they frustrated the independence of Cuba and
imposed their administrators on us.

Now they have also designed one for the supposed "transition." One
McCarry, who recently stated that the United States does not accept
the continuity of the Cuban Revolution, although he didn‚t say how
they are thinking of averting that.

One gets the impression that the enemies of the Revolution have been
left speechless by the conclusive reaction of the Cuban population,
immune to their giant and disgraceful campaign of offenses and lies.
They are talking with surprise at the calm reigning in Cuba, as if it
was something unusual and not exactly normal, and which all of us
here knew would happen in a situation such as this.

Yes, it would seem that they have come to believe their own lies. The
most probable is that their "think tanks" and many of their analysts
are now drawing other conclusions.

As you were saying, absolute tranquility is reigning in the country.
And something even more important, the serene, disciplined and
decisive attitude that can be felt in every workplace, in every city,
in every neighborhood. The same one that our people always assume in
moments of difficulty. If we were to be guided solely by the internal
situation, I am not exaggerating in affirming that it would not have
been necessary to mobilize even one pioneer from among those who
guard the ballot boxes in the elections.

But we have never ignored a threat from the enemy. It would be
irresponsible to do so when faced with a government like that of the
United States, which has is declaring with the greatest audacity that
it does not accept what is established in the Cuban Constitution.
>From over there, as if they were the rulers of the planet, they are
saying that there must be a transition to a social regime of their
liking and that they "would take note of those who oppose that."
Although it seems incredible, this boorish and at the same time
stupid attitude was assumed by President Bush a few days ago.

They‚ll have to waste a lot of paper and ink...

A lot. For that reason I would advise them to do the opposite. To
"take note," as they say, of the annexationists on the payroll of the
U.S. Interest Section here in Havana, those who are going to receive
the crumbs of the announced $80 million earmarked for subversion,
because the bulk of it will be distributed in Miami, as is usually
the case.

On the contrary, the list is going to be interminable. They would
have to list the names of millions and millions of Cuban men and
women, the same ones who are ready to receive their designated
administrator with rifles in hand.

At this juncture, they should be very clear that it is not possible
to achieve anything in Cuba with impositions and threats. On the
contrary, we have always been disposed to normalize relations on
an equal plane. What we do not accept is the arrogant and
interventionist policy frequently assumed by the current
administration of that country.

Recently rereading Party Congress documents, I found ideas that
seemed to have been written today. For example, this excerpt from the
Central Report presented by Fidel to the Third Congress in February

"As we have demonstrated many times, Cuba is not remiss to discussing
its prolonged differences with the United States and to go out in
search of peace and better relations between our people."

And he continued:

"But that would have to be on the basis of the most unrestricted
respect for our condition as a country that does not tolerate shadows
on its independence, for whose dignity and sovereignty entire
generations of Cubans have fought and sacrificed themselves. This
would be possible only when the United States decides to negotiate
with seriousness and is willing to treat us with a spirit of
equality, reciprocity and the fullest mutual respect."

Foto: OTMARO RODRÍGUEZSimilar formulations are contained in the
documents from the other Party Congresses and have also been
reaffirmed by its first secretary on diverse occasions.

Nevertheless they are continuing with the same aggressive and
arrogant policy as always.

That is the reality. More than 20 years have passed since Fidel
pronounced the words that I have just cited; they have that 485-page
interventionist plan that I already mentioned, approved in 2004, in
which they detail how they propose to dismantle the achievements of
the Revolution in health, education, social security; agrarian reform
and urban reform; in other words, to kick the people off their land,
out of their homes so as to hand them back to their former owners,
etc. etc. etc.

To cap it all, just a few days ago, on July 10, President Bush
officially approved a document complementing the former one, and
which they had posted with a very low profile on the Internet in
June. They have openly stated that it includes a secret appendix that
is not being published "for reasons of national security" and "to
ensure its effective implementation;" those are literally the terms
that they used, and which constitute a flagrant violation of
international law.

For a while now we have been adopting measures to confront those
plans. These were reinforced particularly when the current U.S.
government initiated the unbridled warmongering policy that it has
maintained to date, including the announced intention to attack
without previous warning any of those places that they call the
"sixty or more dark corners of the world."

A notable escalation of aggression

Effectively, and in 2003 the plans became more explicit. On December
5 of that year, Mr. Roger Noriega, then assistant secretary of state
for Western Hemisphere Affairs, declared ˆ I don‚t know if it was
intentional or a slip ˆ that "the transition in Cuba ˆ in other words
ˆ the death of Fidel ˆ could happen at any moment and we have to be
prepared to be agile and decisive." That "the United States wanted to
be sure that the regime‚s cronies have no hope of holding onto power"
and, so as to leave no doubt, he added that they were working "to
ensure that there was no succession to the Castro regime."
Subsequently he and other senior U.S. officials have returned to the
theme insistently.

What other form exists for obtaining these goals that is not military
aggression? Thus, the country adopted the pertinent measures for
counteracting that real danger.

Faced with similar situations, Martí taught us what to do: "Plan
against plan. Without a plan of resistance, a plan of attack cannot
be defeated," he wrote in the newspaper Patria on June 11, 1892.

The United States government is not revealing the contents of that
appendix because it is illegal. Its publication must be demanded,
above all now that they have spoken about its existence in order to
threaten Cuba.

On the contrary, our defense plans are transparent and legal, simply
because they do not threaten anybody; their sole objective is to
guarantee the sovereignty and independence of the homeland; they do
not violate any national or international law whatsoever.

The country‚s media has informed about the seriousness and reach of
the measures that we have been adopting recently to steadily
strengthen our defense. Just over a month ago, on July 1, the issue
was analyzed extensively by the Fifth Plenum of the Central Committee
of the Party.

Some of the empire‚s war hawks thought that the moment had come to
destroy the Revolution this past July 31.

We could not rule out the risk of somebody going crazy, or even
crazier, within the U.S. government.

Consequently, at 3 a.m. on August 1, in fulfillment of the plans
approved and signed on January 13, 2005 by compañero Fidel, and after
having made the established consultations, I decided to substantially
raise our combative capacity and readiness via the implementation of
the projected measures, including the mobilization of several tens of
thousands of reservists and militia members, and the proposal to our
principal units of regular troops, including the Special Troops, of
missions demanded by the political/military situation that has been

All of the mobilized personnel has completed or is currently
completing an important cycle of combat training and cohesion,
part of that under campaign conditions.

These troops will rotate, in approximately equal numbers, as the
proposed objectives are attained. All of the reservists and militia
members who are to participate in these activities will be informed,
with the necessary anticipation, of the date of incorporation into
their units and the time that they will remain in these to fulfill
their guard duty to the homeland.

To date, the mobilization that we began on August 1 has developed
satisfactorily, thanks to the magnificent response by our reservists
and militia members, as well as the commendable labor undertaken by
the military commands and especially by the Defense Councils, under
the leadership of the Party, at every level.

It is not my intention to exaggerate the danger. I never have done
so. Up until now, the attacks during these days have not gone further
than rhetorical ones, except for the substantial increase in
subversive anti-Cuba broadcasts over radio and television.

They have announced the use of a new airplane...

Previously, they were using, at varying intervals, a military
airplane known as Comando Solo. From this past August 5, they began
using another type of aircraft that has effected daily transmissions.
On August 11, it did so in conjunction with the aforementioned
Comando Solo.

In fact, on the 5th and 6th, our radars detected that transmissions
were being made from international waters, in outright violation of
the agreements of the International Telecommunications Union, to
which the United States is a signatory, which once again we are
condemning via the corresponding channels and agencies, given that
moreover these transmissions are affecting broadcasting in our

In reality, we are totally unconcerned at the hypothetical influence
of this crude and abysmally-made propaganda, very much below the
cultural and political levels of the Cuban population and which
moreover our people reject, just as they reject the little signs on
the U.S. Interests Section. That is not what this is about; it is
above all a matter of sovereignty and of dignity. We would never
passively allow the consummation of that aggressive act, and that is
why we interfere with it.

All things considered, they are spending millions in U.S. taxpayers‚
money to achieve the same result as ever: a TV that is not seen.

I add to these reflections on the country‚s defense an idea expressed
by Fidel in 1975, in his Central Report to the First Party Congress,
which I have quoted so much that I know it by heart:

"As long as imperialism exists, the Party, the State and the people
will give their utmost attention to the services of defense. The
revolutionary guard will never be neglected. History shows with too
much eloquence that those who forget this principle do not survive
the error."

That has been our guide throughout many years, and continues to be
today for more than enough reasons.

I think that we Cubans have shown during these days that we all share
that conviction.

I agree with you, and that is why I conclude by ratifying my
congratulations to the Cuban people for their overwhelming
demonstration of confidence in themselves; a demonstration of
maturity, serenity, monolithic unity, discipline, revolutionary
consciousness and ˜ put this in capital letters ˜ FIRMNESS, which
reminded me of the conduct of the Cuban people during the heroic days
of the so-called Missile Crisis in October 1962.

They are the fruits of a Revolution whose concept Fidel summed up in
his speech of May 1, 2000, in 20 basic ideas that constitute the
quintessence of ideological political work. They are the results of
many years of combat that, under his leadership, we have waged. Let
nobody doubt, as long as we remain like that, no enemy will be able
to defeat us.


is a sense of the historic moment; it is changing everything that
should be changed; it is complete equality and freedom; it is being
treated and treating others like human beings; it is emancipating
ourselves through ourselves, and through our own efforts; it is
defying powerful dominating forces inside and outside of the social
and national sphere; it is defending values that are believed in at
the cost of any sacrifice; it is modesty, selflessness, altruism,
solidarity and heroism; it is fighting with audacity, intelligence
and realism; it is never lying or violating ethical principles; it is
the profound conviction that there is no force in the world capable
of crushing the strength of truth and ideas. Revolution is unity, it
is independence, it is fighting for our dreams for justice for Cuba
and for the world, which is the foundation of our patriotism, our
socialism and our internationalism.

Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro Ruz

May 1, 2000

Raul Castro's previous major public commentary (June 14, 2006)


9) Reservists: Officers stopped us from attending anti-war protest
By Nir Hasson, Haaretz Correspondent
Last update - 07:51 18/08/2006

Some 160 infantry reserve soldiers are accusing their commanders
of preventing them from participating in a demonstration against
the war in Lebanon, which they called a "debacle." The soldiers
said they had been used as "sitting ducks."

"I've been in the army and reserves for 26 years and what happened
this time was not merely a fiasco, it was a complete debacle.
We felt like tin soldiers in a game of Olmert and Peretz's
assistants and spin masters," said Avi, a soldier in the brigade.

At noon Thursday 160 brigade soldiers signed a request to take
part in the demonstration that would call on the resignation
of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz.
However, their release was put off until Friday, preventing them
from reaching the protest.

They wanted to protest not only the army's moves in Lebanon
but the decisions of their commanders, whom they accuse
of sending them needlessly to their death.

"They sent us into a village they knew 15 Hezbollah fighters
were holed up in at mid-day, we were like sitting ducks,
it was total insanity. Two of our comrades were killed because
of that. We are being used as though we were in the Chinese
army, where it doesn't matter how many are killed," he said.

A few dozen demonstrators arrived at Rabin Square Thursday
to take part in the protest that had been organized on Internet sites.

They called for Olmert's resignation and blasted halting the war
before its goals were achieved.

Ariella Miller, one of the protest's initiators, said she was not
acting on behalf of any political body. "We are family people
who used the Internet to form a group. When we went to war
they promised us to bring back the soldiers and restore Israel's
deterrent force."


10) Rural Oregon Town Feels Pinch of Poverty
August 20, 2006

OAKRIDGE, Ore. — For a few decades, this little town on the western
slope of the Cascades hopped with blue-collar prosperity, its residents
cutting fat Douglas fir trees and processing them at two local mills.

Into the 1980’s, people joked that poverty meant you didn’t have
an RV or a boat. A high school degree wasn’t necessary to earn
a living through logging or mill work, with wages roughly equal
to $20 or $30 an hour in today’s terms.

But by 1990 the last mill had closed, a result of shifting markets
and a dwindling supply of logs because of depletion and tighter
environmental rules. Oakridge was wrenched through the rural
version of deindustrialization, sending its population of 4,000
reeling in ways that are still playing out.

Residents now live with lowered expectations, and a share of them
have felt the sharp pinch of rural poverty. The town is an acute
example of a national trend, the widening gap in pay between
workers in urban areas and those in rural locales, where much
of any job growth has been in low-end retailing and services.

Most parents here, said Shelley Miller, who heads the family
resource center at the public schools, are “juggling paycheck
to paycheck.”

Ms. Miller included herself. She makes $20,000 a year, and
when she and her 16-year-old daughter make the hourlong
drive to Eugene, she said, “It’s a treat.” They go to Subway
for dinner, then to Wal-Mart to shop at far lower prices than
they could at Oakridge’s single supermarket.

Expressed in 2005 dollars, the average pay for a full-time
worker in rural Oregon fell to $27,600 in 2005 from $34,200
in 1976. Over the same period, average pay in urban counties
in Oregon climbed to $37,800, putting the rural-urban gap at
$10,200 and rising, according to the Oregon Employment

About 700 Oakridge residents, from a population of about
4,500 in Oakridge and the surrounding area, visit a charity
food pantry each month to pick up boxes of groceries worth
$100 apiece. Two-thirds of public school students qualify for
free or reduced-price lunches, meaning their families are near
the poverty line or below it. About 260 of the town’s 1,200
housing units are single-width trailers.

“Every fall we discover that a few families have lost it over the
summer and are camping out in the woods,” Ms. Miller said.
“So we help them find some kind of housing in town.”

Above the fog line and below the snow line, with herds of elk
in the surrounding hills, the town offers a peaceful beauty, and
residents say it is a perfect place to live, except for the lack of jobs.

Today, a latte-serving cafe caters to mountain bikers and
travelers on their way to a ski slope or parts farther west.
A few new fast-food outlets are interspersed with graying
motels and empty storefronts. Former workers fondly recall
how the town’s 10 bars were mobbed every payday; now,
a few old-timers gather in one of three tired bars and a dingy
Moose Lodge, needing little prompting to carp about the
Forest Service and environmentalists.

Oakridge has struggled to find a new economic base. On the
edge of town, where the old Pope and Talbot mill burned down
in 1991, an industrial park was created, but it is covered largely
with weeds.

The town has authorized water and sewer services for up to
200 prime home sites in the hills above, and it hopes to attract
retirees and commuters from the Eugene area, said Don Hampton,
a City Council member.

Along with a growing trade in outdoor recreation, becoming a distant
bedroom and retirement community may be the town’s best hope,
bringing tax revenue and service jobs, though it is not clear how
much opportunity this will offer ambitious young people.

“There’s no substitute for having a payroll,” said Dan Rehwalt, 77,
who worked for decades as a machinist with lumber mills and the

When the logging and mill jobs dried up, many of the more
enterprising families left. Some fathers commuted for nine months
at a time to log in Alaska. Others found jobs an hour or two away
in Eugene and other towns, but almost always at lower wages.

Karen Kephart, 63, who has five great-grandchildren, was one
of the first women to work alongside men at the giant Pope and
Talbot mill. When she was laid off in 1989, she was running a saw
for $13 an hour, equal to $21 in 2005 dollars. Her husband tried
other mill work in the region, then retired. To make ends meet,
Mrs. Kephart turned to caring for the elderly in Eugene, sometimes
for $7 an hour.

“We had to use our savings to live on,” Mrs. Kephart said in the
trailer park that she and her husband moved into after selling their
house on the hill, and where they get by on Social Security and
modest pensions. “It changed our retirement considerably.”

Their daughter Tami Parrish, 44, the second oldest of five children,
remembers having “to scrimp and save everything we had”
after the mills closed.

Ms. Parrish and her two sisters live in the same trailer park
as their parents. She too has worked as a caregiver in Eugene,
in a home for Alzheimer’s patients. She grossed $1,900 a month,
but she recently had surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome and is
not working.

Crowding into her trailer are her husband, an unemployed cook;
her 22-year-old daughter, who just started a waitress job making
Oregon’s $7.50 minimum wage, and tips; and the daughter’s baby
boy, who receives medical care under a federal medical program
for poor infants.

The two Kephart sons have fared better: one, after leaving the mills,
was hired as a railroad conductor, rose to engineer and lives “uptown”
in Oakridge with his wife and five children. The other works in
a fiberglass plant in North Carolina and helps out with money
sometimes, Mrs. Kephart said.

Dazzle Deal, 26, with tattooed arms and a pink pony tail, has
three children, ages 7, 5 and 3. She is part of a more recent influx
of poor people who moved to Oakridge because it seemed a safe
place to raise kids on little money.

Ms. Deal moved from Las Vegas four years ago, paying $3,000 for
a dilapidated trailer in the park where the Kepharts live and fixing
it up as best she could.

For nine months she worked at a charity in Eugene, hitchhiking
55 miles each way because she had no car. Then the charity closed.
More recently, she has occasionally found work cleaning motel rooms
and braiding hair.

“If I worked at McDonald’s or Dairy Queen, it would almost cost me
more to pay someone to care for the kids,” she said. She gets
$400 worth of food stamps and is on Medicaid; her main challenge
is coming up with $205 each month for lot rental in the trailer park.

A swing set outside her trailer attracts other children from the trailer
park, and on a recent warm day she took a group of them to wade
in the nearby river.

One family, the Hyltons, live in an RV in the forest and describe
themselves as transients, after returning to Oregon from a spell
in the Southeast. But it is not clear how and when they might move on.

Robert Hylton, 42, was living hand to mouth on a river bank with his
30-year-old wife, Shella, 30, and their daughters, ages 1 and 2.
Strain showed on the face of Mrs. Hylton as she washed clothes in a tub.

The family catches trout to eat three times a week. Mr. Hylton drives,
or bikes when there is no gas money, into Oakridge for food baskets
and the occasional construction job.

“We’re trying,” he said, “to figure out what to do next.”


11) Hold the Champagne
New York Times Editorial
August 19, 2006

When this week’s government reports showed tamer inflation than
had been anticipated, investors almost certainly overreacted, pushing
up stocks and bonds as if all was right with the economy. A slowdown
is certainly preferable to an overheating economy, which raises the
likelihood of much higher interest rates and widespread unemployment.
But a slowdown is still bound to be painful, especially for the Americans
— and they are the majority — whose wages have been stagnating
through much of the current economic cycle.

Investors’ jubilation was also likely a reflection of their own relief.
This week’s evidence of decelerating inflation has vindicated the
judgment of Ben Bernanke, the new chairman of the Federal Reserve,
who decided last week to pause in the two-year-old campaign to raise
interest rates. That display of acumen boosted investors’ confidence
in his ability to correctly call the shots.

What the market doesn’t seem to be considering is the possibility of
problems for which the Fed has no good answers. The depth and
duration of an economic slowdown will depend in large part on the
ultimate fate of the housing boom. As the housing sector continues
to weaken, employment could take a big hit; the Economic Policy
Institute calculates that housing-related jobs accounted for 15 percent
of the nation’s job growth in 2005. Consumer spending could also
be affected, via higher unemployment, less home-equity borrowing
and a general reversal in the wealth effect — that free-spending feeling
people get when their assets are appreciating.

At the same time, the slowdown is likely to weaken the dollar. Theoretically,
a weaker dollar should help the economy over time by increasing American
exports. But that assumes that the economies of other countries will
continue to chug along, even prosper, as the United States endures
a slowdown. Moreover, the ill effects of a housing decline could soon
be upon us, while the potentially beneficial effects of a weaker dollar
would most likely need time to take hold.

The result could be a slowdown that is more severe than currently
anticipated and that could be impervious to interest rate calibrations.

Of course, that is a scenario, not a prediction. The important point
is that today’s economy has problems that go beyond price inflation.
The last time the Fed successfully orchestrated a slowdown — in the
mid-1990’s — the economy was not coming off a housing boom. The
federal budget was heading toward the black, the trade deficit was
a fraction of its current size as a share of the economy, and oil prices,
while volatile, were relatively low.

Now is a time for watchful waiting, not uncorking the Champagne.


12) Chicago Woman’s Stand Stirs Immigration Debate
August 19, 2006

CHICAGO, Aug. 18 — In a small storefront church in a Puerto Rican
neighborhood on the city’s West Side, Elvira Arellano, a fugitive
from the government, waits with her 7-year-old son and prays.

Ms. Arellano, 31, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, defied an
order to report to the Department of Homeland Security on
Tuesday to be deported and is instead seeking sanctuary
in her church.

Ms. Arellano is hoping Congress will act on a private relief bill
that would allow her and her son, Saul, a United States citizen
who has attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, to stay in the
country, where she says he can get better medical treatment.

“I’m not a terrorist,” said Ms. Arellano, who came to the United
States illegally nine years ago and is facing her second deportation.
“I’m only a single mother with a son who’s an American citizen.”

Ms. Arellano, president of an advocacy group called La Familia
Latina Unida, said she hoped her action would help to bring
about legislation to protect families that could be torn apart
by deportation.

Immigrants’ rights groups and critics of illegal immigration are
closely watching her case. Some supporters have likened her
to Rosa Parks, while detractors say Ms. Arellano broke the law
and should face the consequences.

Critics say illegal immigrants have children with the hope that
they will be allowed to stay in the United States. “She had an
anchor baby, that’s what she did,” said Mike McGarry, acting
director of the Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform.
“If she was so concerned about her child, she’d take him with her.”

Emma Lozano, director of Centro Sin Fronteras, an advocacy
group in Chicago, sees it differently. “She became for all of us
a symbol of resistance to the unjust, broken laws of this country,”
Ms. Lozano said. “This cross that she bears for all the undocumented
is because she’s been chosen.”

Ms. Arellano has received supportive calls and e-mail from across
the country and beyond.

Dolores Huerta, 76, a laborers’ advocate who founded the United
Farm Workers union with Cesar Chavez, flew to Chicago from
California on Thursday to show her support. “Legislation must
be proposed so these children don’t stay without their parents,”
she said.

Ms. Arellano was deported in 1997 after crossing from Mexico
illegally. She returned and had Saul, working in Washington State
before moving to Chicago in 2000. She was arrested in 2002
at O’Hare International Airport, where she cleaned planes,
for using a false Social Security number.

She was granted a stay of deportation after a private relief bill
was introduced in the Senate in 2003 because of her son’s medical
needs. Last year, two similar bills were introduced in the House,
but no action has been taken.

At Adalberto United Methodist Church, where Ms. Arellano has
been staying, the windows are plastered with copies of letters of
support from Representative Luis V. Gutierrez, Democrat of Illinois,
who introduced the House legislation, and Mayor Richard M. Daley.

Ms. Arellano also posted a statement, saying if she is arrested on
“holy ground,” she “will know that God wants me to be an example
of the hatred and hypocrisy of the current policy of this government.”

Such talk offends people like Rosanna Pulido, director of the
Illinois Minuteman Project. “She’s spewing all this anti-American
stuff,” Ms. Pulido said. “The thing that scares me the most is her
defiance, it really does.”

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency said it has
the authority to arrest anyone in the country in violation of immigration
law. But an immigration official, who spoke on the condition of
anonymity because policy prohibits discussing agency plans,
said Friday that the authorities had other priorities and did not
plan an arrest at the church.

The church’s pastor, the Rev. Walter Coleman, said helping
Ms. Arellano was part of his calling. “There’s a tradition in this
country as well as around the world that governments respect the
dignity and the faith of the church and don’t trample on that,”
Mr. Coleman said. “I’m much more afraid of God than I am
of Homeland Security.”

Ira Mehlman, media director of the Federation for American
Immigration Reform, said the law holds parents responsible
for their actions regardless of their children’s situation. “However
sympathetic her child may be, you can’t allow someone to hide
behind their children,” Mr. Mehlman said.

Jaime P. Martinez, national treasurer of the League of United
Latin American Citizens, an advocacy group in Washington, said
Ms. Arellano’s case was mobilizing the movement as the government
seems to be cracking down.

“I have never seen these type of deportations in my life,” said
Mr. Martinez, 50, who visited Ms. Arellano on Thursday. “I believe
it’s an agenda that they have to turn away the progress that was
being made.”

But Carlina Tapia-Ruano, an immigration lawyer in Chicago, said
she doubted that Ms. Arellano’s actions would change anyone’s mind.

“My concern is that when we have individuals who so publicly voice
their disregard of our laws,” Ms. Tapia-Ruano said, “I believe that
that gives greater ammunition for those who are on the extremes.”

But Ms. Arellano is confident. “I didn’t allow them to deport me, and
the community is supporting me,” she said. “I’m not afraid of anything
because I’m in the house of God.”


13) On Technical Grounds, Judge Sets Aside
Verdict of Billing Fraud in Iraq Rebuilding
August 19, 2006

[The company's founders are Scott Custer, a former Army Ranger
and defense consultant, and former CIA officer Michael Battles,
who ran for Congress in Rhode Island in 2002 and was defeated
in the Republican primary. Battles is a Fox News Channel commentator. [1]....]

A federal judge has set aside a verdict of corporate fraud in Iraq
on disputed technical grounds, raising questions about the ability
of whistleblowers and the United States government to pursue
companies that profited illegally in Iraq during the chaotic year
after the invasion.

Last March, based on evidence provided by two company
whistleblowers, a federal jury in Virginia found that the
contractor Custer Battles L.L.C. had filed grossly inflated invoices
to the Coalition Provisional Authority. In the civil suit, the first
Iraq-related case to be brought under the False Claims Act, the
company was declared liable for more than $10 million in damages
and penalties.

The case was expected to be the first of dozens to be filed under
the act, a crucial tool against government fraud that allows company
insiders to sue and share any damages awarded to the government.
Numerous such cases from Iraq have been filed and are under seal
while the Justice Department completes its initial investigations,
lawyers and federal officials say.

But an underlying issue, raised by Custer Battles during its trial
and on appeal, was whether bills submitted to the Coalition
Provisional Authority could be regarded as bills presented
to the United States government. The coalition authority was
an entity created and largely financed by the United States
to run Iraq, and largely staffed by American officials, but with
an ambiguous legal status.

The Justice Department in an advisory opinion, and the jury
in the Custer Battles case, said that some of the Custer Battles
invoices were indeed claims against the American treasury and
that the False Claims Act applied.

But in an opinion issued Wednesday and posted yesterday,
Judge T. S. Ellis III, of the Federal District Court in Alexandria, Va.,
said the plaintiffs had “failed to prove that the claims were presented
to the United States.” The coalition authority, the judge ruled, was
an international entity, and bills presented to American officials
then detailed to the authority were not subject to the False Claims Act.

The judge did not address the appeal to overturn the fraud findings,
saying this was not necessary if the act did not apply.

The lead lawyer for the whistleblowers, Alan Grayson, of Grayson
& Kubli in McLean, Va., said they would appeal the decision to the
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Va.

“If this turns out the way the law ends up, it will make it more
difficult to prosecute fraudulent contractors in Iraq,” Mr. Grayson
said in a telephone interview. “But this is clearly not the final word
on the subject.”

Judge Ellis did let one part of the original verdict stand, the finding
that one of the former Custer Battles officials who brought the charges,
William D. Baldwin, had been fired illegally for complaining about
illegal billing. Mr. Baldwin was awarded $230,000 in damages.

In a news release issued yesterday, lawyers for Custer Battles, from
the Washington office of Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur, praised
the judge for setting aside the jury verdict and repeated that Scott
Custer, Mike Battles and their company were innocent of any fraud.


14) Immigration May Tip Vote in California
August 20, 2006

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 19 — Illegal immigration has long been
a political minefield in California, making and breaking political
careers. Now, with Congress considering the most sweeping
changes to immigration laws in two decades, Gov. Arnold
Schwarzenegger is learning just how troublesome that terrain
can be in an election year.

No Republican candidate for governor or president since the
1970’s has won in California without getting at least one-third
of the Hispanic vote, which Mr. Schwarzenegger, a Republican,
achieved in a wide-open recall election in 2003. In his bid for
re-election in November, he faces the difficult task of courting
both Latino voters and his core conservative supporters, two
groups that are often far apart on immigration.

The immigration debate in Congress has also rippled into
several other races for governor, including those in Oklahoma,
Massachusetts, Colorado and Arizona. Democrats and Republicans
are carefully staking out their positions, often with intense
political calculation.

Gov. Janet Napolitano of Arizona, a Democrat, has sought
to appear tough, declaring a state of emergency last year
in the four border counties that bear the brunt of the flow
of illegal immigrants from Mexico. But this spring, with
a commanding lead in the polls, Ms. Napolitano rejected
bills from the Republican-dominated Legislature intended
to make life harder for illegal residents and the businesses
that employ them, questioning the legality and effectiveness
of the proposals.

In Massachusetts, two of the three Democrats in the primary
race for governor have said they would consider using state
troopers to enforce immigration law, as Gov. Mitt Romney,
a Republican, has proposed.

“It’s like Iraq,” said Jennifer E. Duffy, who tracks governors’
races for The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan newsletter
in Washington. “It may not be the driving issue of a campaign,
but every candidate has a position that has been articulated.”

As a Republican in a state dominated by Democrats, Mr. Schwarzenegger
has a difficult task in balancing the two competing constituencies,
Ms. Duffy said, because “if just Republicans vote for him, he loses.”

So one week Mr. Schwarzenegger defends his support for the
Minutemen civilian patrols on the border that many conservatives
strongly endorse, and the next he distances himself from an anti-
illegal-immigrant ballot initiative passed in 1994 that galvanized
Latino political involvement on the side of Democrats.

At a recent town-hall-style campaign appearance by Mr. Schwarzenegger
in Orange County, Larry Collins, vice president of a local Republican
club, asked the first question, and it was about border security.

Mr. Collins said later that although he supported Mr. Schwarzenegger,
he wanted the governor to take a harder line on immigration. He said
he could not bear hearing more and more Spanish being spoken in the
county, and he wondered about the legality of the newcomers. “We are
being overloaded with a potential hazard,” Mr. Collins said.

Even as Mr. Schwarzenegger seeks to hold on to voters like Mr. Collins,
he is striving to attract Latinos. His aides concede that if the election
is close, Latino voters could prove vital, and so they have embarked
on a campaign to attract them, particularly native-born middle-class
and professional Latinos.

The aides predict that these Latinos are more likely to approve
of Mr. Schwarzenegger’s stance on other issues, such as his advocacy
for small businesses and tax cuts and his promises to improve
education and health care.

On Monday, Mr. Schwarzenegger sent one of the nation’s most
prominent Latino Republican businessmen, Hector V. Barreto, the
former head of the Small Business Administration and a board
member of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce,
to court Latino business owners and others in San Francisco.

“This will be an example of how we’re going to run campaigns
differently in the Latino community for both Republicans and
Democrats,” said Matthew Dowd, Mr. Schwarzenegger’s chief
strategist, who has set a goal of getting 35 percent of the
Latino vote.

Mr. Schwarzenegger has given no speeches specifically on
immigration reform. But in newspaper opinion articles and at
campaign stops he has said that he generally supports President
Bush’s advocacy of more border security, while he also backs
measures that would steer some illegal immigrants toward

As the governor of California, he reluctantly sent National Guard
troops to the border this summer at the request of Mr. Bush,
but rejected another request for more troops.

Still, at a speech on Saturday at the state Republican Party’s
summer convention in Los Angeles, Mr. Schwarzenegger sought
to rally the party faithful in part by criticizing his Democratic opponent’s
objection to having the Guard at the border. He also attacked his
opponent, Phil Angelides, the state treasurer, for his support for
allowing illegal immigrants to get driver’s licenses, as a public
safety measure.

“My opponent wants to pull the National Guard off the border,”
Mr. Schwarzenegger said. “He wants to give undocumented
workers California driver’s licenses. His policies are disastrous.”

Mr. Schwarzenegger also urged immigrants to learn English,
offering himself, tongue in cheek, as an example.

“Being an American means learning English,’’ said Mr. Schwarzenegger,
a naturalized citizen from Austria whose accent supplies late-night
comediens with endless material. “I know because I did, not that
it is perfect nearly mind you, but I did. And we must also help
immigrants get the same tutoring I got so they can learn English
as quickly as possible.’’

Democrats are quick to point out that Mr. Schwarzenegger once
said the United States should “close our borders,” only to clarify
the statement to “secure our borders” after being criticized. Democrats
view his back and forth as political expediency.

“We have seen the governor waffle and flip-flop,” State Senator Gil
Cedillo, Democrat of Los Angeles, said in a conference call with
reporters last week. He called on Mr. Schwarzenegger to debate
Mr. Angelides on Spanish-language television.

Mr. Angelides is expected to get most of the Latino vote and has
endorsements from several high-ranking elected Latino Democrats,
with the glaring exception of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los
Angeles, a Democrat and Mexican-American. To the consternation
of Mr. Angelides’s supporters, the mayor has withheld a promised
endorsement while he rallies bipartisan support, including
Mr. Schwarzenegger’s, for legislation to give him a role in
running the public schools.

A Field Poll in July showed Mr. Angelides leading Mr. Schwarzenegger
among Latinos by 58 percent to 22 percent, with 20 percent undecided
or supporting other candidates. The poll, which sampled 992 registered
voters from July 10 to 23 and has a margin of error of 3.8 percentage
points, showed Mr. Schwarzenegger leading over all among likely voters,
45 percent to 37 percent.

Everywhere he stops, Mr. Schwarzenegger is mobbed for autographs,
and it is no different among Hispanic voters (the governor has let
it be known that he has starred in movies filmed in Mexico).

In July, Mr. Schwarzenegger fixed tortillas at the Olvera Street market,
where tourists flock for a carefully constructed taste of old Mexican
Los Angeles. The visit came days after news photographers snapped
him grinning with Mr. Villaraigosa at the National Council
of La Raza convention here.

Mr. Schwarzenegger rarely fails to highlight his own immigrant tale
of arriving nearly penniless from Austria in 1968 — he is a naturalized
United States citizen — and finding success in bodybuilding
and Hollywood.

“I was able to make my dream turn into reality,” Mr. Schwarzenegger
said at a stop in Orange County.

He has also appointed several Hispanics to his campaign and
administration staff, including Arnoldo Torres, a former political
analyst at the Spanish-language broadcaster Univision, who is
a senior adviser to the campaign. Mr. Schwarzenegger has also
visited several heavily Latino neighborhoods and has made himself
especially accessible to Spanish-language news media. (Mr. Schwarzenegger
declined to be interviewed for this article).

“I’m glad he is working toward getting the Latino community,” said
Martin Gonzalez, 35, an independent voter who watched
Mr. Schwarzenegger campaign recently at a bakery started
by Cuban immigrants in Glendale. “He is doing it now because
now he knows we are important.”

Will he vote for Mr. Schwarzenegger?

“I just don’t know, but maybe,” Mr. Gonzalez said, adding with
a laugh, “My kids like his movies.”


15) Israel Committed to Block Arms and Kill Nasrallah
August 20, 2006

JERUSALEM, Aug. 19 — Despite a cease-fire agreement, Israel intends
to do its best to keep Iran and Syria from rearming Hezbollah and
to kill the militia’s leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, says a senior
Israeli commander.

International commitments to exclude the Hezbollah militia from
southern Lebanon and to disarm it already seem hollow, said the
commander, who had a well-placed view of the war and its planning
and has extensive experience in Lebanon.

The officer would only speak on the condition of anonymity in
an interview on Friday. But, speaking one day before commandos
carried out a raid that Israeli officials said was to disrupt arms
shipments for Hezbollah from Syria and Iran, he was explicit that
Israel would continue to seek out and block any such attempts.
He also emphasized that, despite criticism from the Israeli public
and even troops of the performance of the Army and government,
he considered the threat and the fighting ability of Hezbollah
to have been severely diminished.

Furthermore, he made it clear that Sheik Nasrallah remained
a target as the leader of a group that Israel and the United States
have labeled terrorist. “There’s only one solution for him,”
he said. At another point, he said simply, “This man must die.”

Mr. Nasrallah is regarded as a hero in much of the Muslim world.
The pro-Syrian president of Lebanon, Émile Lahoud, praised him
and Hezbollah this week for what he called their victory over Israel.

Israel and the United States, however, view Hezbollah as a tool
of non-Arab Iran, which created it, and of Syria, which supports
and helps to supply it, rather than being loyal to Lebanon and
its multireligious government.

Israel, the officer said, views Hezbollah as “Iran’s western front’’
and, regardless of how poorly the new United Nations forces may
perform, he argued, Israel will benefit from new international support
for the extension of Lebanese sovereignty to the Israeli border, made
most visible in the deployment of the Lebanese Army.

“I don’t care about the capability of the Lebanese Army,” he said.
“What is more important, and here I’m not speaking for the Israeli
government, is the understanding that the Lebanese government
took control of southern Lebanon. Now we can deal with them as
a country and a government, and speak and compromise.
This is the huge change this operation created.”

Hezbollah, he said, is no longer just Israel’s problem, and “the
world understands that we are helping to stop the influence
of Iran,” at least in the longer term.

The army was planning on 15 days of air war before any ground
forces were considered, he said. “We didn’t want to do any ground
assault and thought we could create the conditions for a cease-fire
without a major ground assault.”

But the army miscalculated, and Hezbollah did not break. The air
orce failed to kill Sheik Nasrallah or to destroy the Hezbollah
leadership. The army was also surprised, he said, by the sheer
numbers of the advanced antitank missiles Hezbollah possessed,
including Russian Metis-M and Kornet missiles that were sold
to Syria and passed on to Hezbollah, he said, and which caused
most of Israel’s military casualties.

The United Nations was also “too soft and too late” in negotiating
a cease-fire, and Israel then felt it had to act to stop the short-range
Katyusha rockets that the army and the government knew, he insisted,
could not be stopped with air power alone. “We tried to postpone
it until we had no other choice,” the officer said.

The army asked the government for a five-day ground operation
to reach the Litani River and was ready on Monday, Aug. 7, the
commander said. “The government asked us to wait because of the
negotiations, and we waited Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and
most of Friday,” he said. Only then, when the negotiations at the
United Nations were going against Israel, did Prime Minister Ehud
Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz order the expanded
ground operation, which had only been approved by the cabinet
on Aug. 9.

In the end, the army had two days of fighting, not five, before
the cease-fire took effect last Monday at 8 a.m.

Israelis have been extremely critical of Mr. Olmert, Mr. Peretz
and, to some degree, the army leadership. Israelis overwhelmingly
supported the decision to go to war against Hezbollah after
its cross-border raid on July 12, when it captured two Israeli
soldiers and killed eight people.

But the war dragged on, the government seemed indecisive
and Hezbollah was fighting well. Israelis felt there was too much
reliance on air power, the ground war was too long delayed and
then too modest, and the cease-fire agreement did not even
secure the soldiers’ release or guarantee the disarming of Hezbollah.

The lifeline of the three-month-old government appears shortened,
and the future of the chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz, is uncertain.

Still, the Israeli Army feels it fought well within the limits set for
it, and the commander insisted that the Israelis won every battle
with Hezbollah, despite its good training and equipment and the
underground tunnels, barracks and command posts it constructed
with Iranian help.

“We believe it was important to stop the war with Hezbollah
understanding that we can beat them anywhere, any time, and we
did that,” he said. “I believe it will change the situation for a long time.”

Israelis are spoiled by the 1967 and 1973 wars, he said, but there
is no decisive victory against terrorism. In Washington, too, he said,
“I believe the military and security professionals understand what we
did, and they are not disappointed.”

The Israeli Army scored two important achievements, he confirmed.
First, good intelligence allowed it to knock out up to 80 percent
of Hezbollah’s medium- and long-range missile launchers in the
first two days of the air war, preventing Sheik Nasrallah from firing
a longer-range Iranian Zelzal missile on Tel Aviv.

More important, Israel was able to destroy launchers within
45 seconds to a minute after they were used, which no other
army in the world can do with regularity, he said. Employing
drones, radar, precision weapons and artillery, Israel could track
a launching and bomb it.

But it could not do that with the thousands of short-range Katyusha
rockets. They are small and easily portable, can be fired from buildings
or simple metal tripods or even fired with a simple timer.

There are other tactical lessons, the commander said: more armor
plating underneath tanks, better supplies, more money to be spent
on reserves and training.

“But in the long run, if we see Hezbollah rearming itself and running
southern Lebanon, I believe the next round is coming.”

After all, “this is the Middle East,” the officer said. “One war ends,
and the next one is already at the door.”

In the occupied West Bank on Saturday, Israel arrested the Palestinian
deputy prime minister, Nasser al-Shaer of Hamas, at his home. Israeli
has arrested more than two dozen Hamas cabinet ministers and legislators
in the West Bank, including the parliament’s speaker, Aziz Dweik, since
late June, when Hamas took part in the capture of an Israeli soldier.

Also on Saturday, an Israeli soldier was killed at a checkpoint east
of Nablus by an armed Palestinian, who was killed in turn by other
soldiers, the Israeli Army said.


16) Venezuela Says It Seized 4 Spies; U.S. Embassy Denies Knowledge
August 20, 2006

CARACAS, Venezuela, Aug. 19 — President Hugo Chávez said that
the authorities here had captured four people who were spying for
the United States, and he taunted the Bush administration for making
Venezuela a target of high-level intelligence scrutiny.

Speaking at a campaign rally on Friday night in western Venezuela,
Mr. Chávez, who has made attacks on the United States a staple
of his re-election campaign, ridiculed the administration’s
establishment of a mission manager for intelligence on Venezuela
and Cuba. J. Patrick Maher, a longtime veteran of the C.I.A.,
was named to the post on Friday.

Iran and North Korea are the only other countries assigned such
senior intelligence managers, who are not expected to directly
oversee intelligence operations or analysis but rather guide these
activities on a strategic level.

“They selected Jack the Ripper,” Mr. Chávez said, referring to
Mr. Maher. “Whatever their plan is, we stand ready to defeat it.”

Accusations of spying have become commonplace in Venezuela
in the past two years, as Mr. Chávez’s government grows more
explicit in its criticism of the United States, emboldened by climbing
oil revenues and a perception that his opponents stand little chance
of defeating him in the December election.

Authorities have offered little evidence in relation to the various
spying charges, but the government has often pointed to the tacit
support the Bush administration gave to a coup that briefly ousted
Mr. Chávez in 2002.

The new accusations contained few details, though Mr. Chávez
did say: “I’ve caught four of their spies, four, and I’ve put them
back in their hands. Not long ago we caught a very beautiful woman
in Valencia, taking photos.”

American officials here appear to be growing used to such charges,
after Venezuela’s expulsion in February of a naval attaché, contending
he was a spy.

“We have no idea what the president is talking about,” Brian Penn,
a United States Embassy spokesman, said Saturday of the new


17) Subdued Growth, Cheerful Rallies
August 20, 2006

INVESTORS who are already inclined to think that this round
of Federal Reserve rate increases is over — or nearly over — may
find more evidence to bolster their position this week.

Robert MacIntosh, chief economist at the fund manager Eaton
Vance, anticipates investor-friendly reports on the housing market,
even if they may not seem so at first.

“We’re looking for them to be down,” Mr. MacIntosh said. “We’re
seeing a very consistent pattern — it may even be accelerating —
of housing figures going down month after month.”

He expects that to continue, and so does a Bloomberg News poll
of economists, which foresees a decline in sales of existing homes,
to an annual rate of 6.55 million units for July, from 6.62 million
for June. The report is due on Wednesday.

Sales of new homes in July, to be announced the next day, are
estimated to have fallen to an annual rate of 1.10 million units
from 1.13 million.

Declining housing numbers would add to the weight of evidence
that the Fed is done raising interest rates, keeping asset prices
moving higher, Mr. MacIntosh predicted.

At the last meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee,
on Aug. 8, policymakers did not raise rates after 17 consecutive
quarter-point increases.

Since that meeting, most data on inflation has been benign,
and the stock and bond markets have strengthened.

“Historically when the market feels the Fed is about to stop
tightening, you see pretty good rallies across stocks and
bonds,” Mr. MacIntosh said.

“I think we’re going to continue to be in the mode for quite
a while of weak economic numbers being good for the
markets,” he added.

The rosy outlook, he said, should last at least until the Fed’s
next rate decision on Sept. 20. But how long it will linger after
that is unclear, he warned, even if the Fed remains on hold.

“Equities are going to want to see some kind of life in the
economy,” Mr. MacIntosh said.

Bondholders are always happy to see subdued economic
growth, but it may not be long until “equity investors start
shifting to, ‘Gee, we don’t want to see the economy too weak,’ ”
he said, cautioning that any cheeriness resulting from slack economic
numbers was likely to be “a temporary situation.”

DATA WATCH Further confirmation of a downshifting economy
could come on Thursday, in the report on July orders for durable
goods, those big household and industrial items with long lives.

The economists surveyed by Bloomberg predict a decline of
0.5 percent, after a 2.9 percent gain in June. Excluding transportation

orders — when an airline commissions a few hundred million dollars’
worth of jets, it can distort the data — the economists predict
an increase of 0.3 percent for the month after a 1.1 percent
climb in June.


Radioactive Leak Reaches Nuclear Plant's Groundwater
At San Onofre, the cancer-causing tritium isn't known to infect
drinking water, but experts are checking.
By Seema Mehta and Dave McKibben
Times Staff Writer
August 18, 2006,0,3580491.story?track=mostviewed-sectionfront

Iraq war first hard look at women's level of combat post-traumatic
stress disorder
- Donna St. George, Washington Post
Sunday, August 20, 2006

Cannabis Cafes Get Nudge to Fringes of a Dutch City
August 20, 2006

Top Police Spar in London Over Muslims as ‘Victims’
Roughly 90 percent of the 30,000-plus Metropolitan Police force
is made up of white officers, but the number of nonwhite officers
in training is about 17 percent.
August 20, 2006

In British Inquiry, a Family Caught in 2 Worlds
August 20, 2006

Costly Promises
New York Gets Sobering Look at Its Pensions
August 20, 2006

FOCUS | US Names Spy Operations 'Manager' for Cuba, Venezuela
The United States has
named a special "manager" for its intelligence operations against Cuba
and Venezuela, in effect putting the two Latin American nations on a par
with "axis of evil" states confronted on multiple levels by the
administration of President George W. Bush.

VIDEO | Dahr Jamail on Iraq and Lebanon
A Film by Geoffrey Millard and Sari Gelzer
Independent reporter Dahr Jamail
speaks with Truthout's Geoffrey Millard in Seattle at the Veterans for
Peace Convention, where he was invited to speak about his time in Iraq
and, because of recent events, in Lebanon. Jamail went to Iraq because
he said the coverage by corporate news was insufficient. Jamail
presents his take on Iraq's civil war and politics, Lebanon's humanitarian
crisis, Hezbollah's increased popularity, US/Iran relations, and the peace
movement in America.

VIDEO | Keith Olbermann: Terror and Politics in America
Keith Olbermann does a stunning
job of laying out a five year history of Bush administration Terror
Alerts that came at moments when the administration may have wanted to
change the subject.

Truce Strained as Israelis Raid Site in Lebanon
August 20, 2006

I.R.S. Hires Debt Collectors
If you owe back taxes to the federal government, the next call asking
you to pay may come not from an Internal Revenue Service officer,
but from a private debt collector.
August 20, 2006

Israel Carries Out Raid Deep Into Lebanon
August 19, 2006

Colombia’s Coca Survives U.S. Plan to Uproot It
[This article talks about the massive spraying
August 19, 2006

Review of Landmark Study Finds Fewer
Vietnam Veterans With Post-Traumatic Stress
August 18, 2006

Judge Finds Wiretap Actions Violate the Law
August 18, 2006

Marines May Have Excised Evidence on 24 Iraqi Deaths
August 18, 2006

BREAKING | Judge Rules Bush's Surveillance Program Unconstitutional
A federal judge in Detroit has ruled that the Bush administration's
warrantless surveillance program violates the Constitution.

Hey Folks, Throw TO a Bone!
Thursday 17 August 2006
Wow - it's hard to get donations from our readers. The same
people help out month after month, and they're the only ones
who keep Truthout going. Help them, help us, help you. TIA!
Just click this link for our secure donation form:

VIDEO | Dahr Jamail on Iraq and Lebanon
A Film by Geoffrey Millard and Sari Gelzer
Independent reporter Dahr Jamail speaks with Truthout's
Geoffrey Millard in Seattle at the Veterans for Peace
Convention, where he was invited to speak about his
time in Iraq and, because of recent events, in Lebanon.
Jamail went to Iraq because he said the coverage by
corporate news was insufficient. Jamail presents his
take on Iraq's civil war and politics, Lebanon's humanitarian
crisis, Hezbollah's increased popularity, US/Iran relations,
and the peace movement in America.

VIDEO | Keith Olbermann: Terror and Politics in America
Keith Olbermann does a stunning job of laying out a five year
history of Bush administration Terror Alerts that came at
moments when the administration may have wanted
to change the subject.

Sarah Olson | Iraq War Vets' Support for Lt. Watada Growing
"Geoffrey Millard is a
sergeant in the Army National Guard and has no problem speaking
publicly or supporting Lieutenant Watada," writes Sarah Olson. "He says GI
resistance is a growing trend. 'American GIs are beginning to respect the
Nuremberg principles. They are resisting orders; they are going to
jail, going to Canada, and going AWOL. And they're talking about why
they're doing it.'"

Abu Ghraib Whistleblower Speaks Out
In an interview by Wil
S. Hylton, Joe Darby speaks out for the first time since exposing the
atrocities at Abu Ghraib.

Matthew Rothschild | Preparing the Battlefield for Bush's War on Iran
"The thought crossed my
mind this weekend at a wedding party, when we were discussing the
Israeli war on Lebanon: Maybe Bush's green light for this bloody war was
part of his plan to bomb Tehran," writes Matthew Rothschild.

Fire, Flood, Famine: Global Warming and Our Future
More than half of the
world's major forests will be lost if global temperatures rise by an
average of 3C or more by the end of the century. The prediction comes from
the most comprehensive analysis yet of the potential effects of
human-made global warming.

BREAKING | Judge Rules Bush's Surveillance Program Unconstitutional
A federal judge in
Detroit has ruled that the Bush administration's warrantless surveillance
program violates the Constitution.

British Arms Merchant With Passport to the Pentagon

Israeli Army Chief Sold Stocks Hours before the War

Venezuela's Revolution of Hope
August 16, 2006

Military recruiters turn to strong-arm tactics
August 15, 2006
WASHINGTON -- Military recruiters have increasingly resorted to
overly aggressive tactics and criminal activity to attract young
troops to the battlefield, congressional investigators say.
Combat conditions in Iraq, a decent job market and tough monthly
recruiting goals have made recruiters' jobs more difficult, the
Government Accountability Office said Monday.
According to data provided to the GAO, substantiated cases
of wrongdoing jumped from about 400 cases in 2004 to almost
630 in 2005. Criminal cases -- such as sexual harassment
or falsifying medical records -- more than doubled in those
years, jumping from 30 incidents to 70.
But the report warned that reports of misconduct are likely
too low because the armed services don't track such cases
and many incidents go unreported.
The Defense Department is not "in a sound position to assure
the general public that it knows the full extent to which recruiter
irregularities are occurring," the GAO found.
The military has about 14,000 recruiters on staff, and each
of them is required to enlist two applicants a month.
More than half the recruiting crimes reported in 2005 were
by the Army. The Army said last week that it is on track to
meet this year's recruiting goal of 80,000 applicants
following a severe shortage last year.
In a letter to the GAO included in the report, the Defense
Department said it agreed the services must establish
an internal system to track reports of recruiter wrongdoing.
Copyright © 2006 Detroit Free Press Inc.

Bush is crap, says Prescott
Deputy PM criticises US handling of Middle East, condemning '
cowboy' President at private meeting
By Colin Brown, Deputy Political Editor
Published: 17 August 2006

6 Native Nations, and None Have a Word for ‘Suburbia’
CALEDONIA, Ontario, Aug. 10 — Blame it on the American Revolution.
August 17, 2006

Coffee as a Health Drink? Studies Find Some Benefits
Coffee is not usually thought of as health food, but a number of
recent studies suggest that it can be a highly beneficial drink.
Researchers have found strong evidence that coffee reduces
the risk of several serious ailments, including diabetes, heart
disease and cirrhosis of the liver.
August 15, 2006

Faces, Too, Are Searched at U.S. Airports
DULLES, Va., Aug. 16 — As the man approached the airport security
checkpoint here on Wednesday, he kept picking up and putting down
his backpack, touching his fingers to his chin, rubbing some object in
his hands and finally reaching for his pack of cigarettes, even though
smoking was not allowed.
August 17, 2006

A Debt Unpaid
New York Times Editorial
Vieques, a small island off the coast of Puerto Rico, made headlines
a few years back when environmental activists engaged in civil
disobedience aimed at forcing the Navy to stop using it for
bombing practice. The Navy bowed to the pressure and departed
in May 2003, leaving behind 60 years worth of bomb fragments
and an untold amount of unexploded ordnance.
August 17, 2006

Hezbollah Leads Work to Rebuild, Gaining Stature
In his victory speech on Monday night, Hezbollah’s leader, Sheik
Hassan Nasrallah, offered money for “decent and suitable furniture”
and a year’s rent on a house to any Lebanese who lost his home
in the month-long war.
August 16, 2006

Lt. Watada's Mother: My Son Needs Your Support
Carolyn Ho, mother of
conscientious objector Lt. Ehren Watada, asks for support during her
son's pre-trial hearing on Aug 17 and 18. "Whether or not he is permitted
to submit evidence supporting his refusal to deploy and his first
amendment rights remains to be seen," she says. "Nevertheless, the military
must know that the world is watching and that justice must be served."

Judge's Insurance Ruling Could Affect Hundreds of Katrina Victims
A federal judge ruled
Tuesday that an insurance company's policies do not cover damage from
wind-driven water in a decision that could affect hundreds of upcoming
cases related to property damage from Hurricane Katrina.

Mexico Poll Protests Turn Violent
For the first time,
Mexican riot police fired tear gas and used clubs to break up a protest by
supporters of presidential challenger Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. Some
lawmakers were among at least 30 people injured in the scuffles outside
Congress in Mexico City.

Returning to Their Devastated Homes,
the People of Lebanon Claim Victory

US Sending 300 Newly Returned Troops Back to Iraq

Military veterans stand behind "illegal war" refuser Lt. Watada
Objector officer brings Veterans for Peace convention to its feet
By Jeff Paterson. August 12, 2006

Iraq combat vet Sgt. Ricky Clousing speaks out against illegal war
AWOL soldier returns to military after press conference
By Jeff Paterson. August 11, 2006

Veterans picnic with U.S. troops who have taken refuge in Canada at border
By Jeff Paterson. August 13, 2006

Governors Oppose Federal Control of Guard
The nation's governors, protesting what they call an unprecedented
shift in authority from the states to the federal government, will
urge Congress today to block legislation that would allow the
president to take control of National Guard forces in the event
of a natural disaster or a threat to homeland security.

Census Shows Growth of Immigrants
August 15, 2006

U.S. IMMIGRANTS: Census data find 16% rise in 5 years --
many go to new destinations
Rick Lyman, New York Times
Tuesday, August

Military’s Discharges for Being Gay Rose in ’05
WASHINGTON, Aug. 14 — The Defense Department discharged
726 service members last year for being gay, up about 10 percent
from 2004, figures released by a gay rights group show.
August 15, 2006

Tracing a Trail of Destruction: Report from Lebanon, August 13, 2006
BEIRUT, Lebanon - The wounds of war were evident shortly after we crossed
the Syria-Lebanon border at 1130 in the morning on August 12. At Haissa,
about three kilometers from the Dabboussiyeh border crossing, we come
across the ruins of a bridge hit by Israeli war planes just the day
before. Villagers tell us 12 people were killed and 10 wounded, all

An Interview with Dr. Ismail Zayid, President of the Canadian Palestinian Association
Israel‚s ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people from 1947 to the
present has caused monumental devastation to the exiled, those hundreds of
thousands who were forced from their homes and never allowed to return.
Dr. Ismail Zayid‚s family suffered this unspeakable horror in 1967 when
their village of Beit Nuba was erased from the face of the earth by
Israeli bulldozers.

Filipinos oppose U.S. Israeli Aggression
The U.S. imperialists and their Zionist executioners are mistaken in
thinking that the Lebanese and Palestinian peoples are easy prey for they
are anything but easy pushovers. Puppet Arroyo is also mistaken in
thinking that the Filipino people will allow her to get away with her own
US-propped war of terror against them. Like the valiant resistance in
Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq, the world will eventually see the Filipino
people rise up to oust their tyrant from power.

Rogue Israeli State Protested at White House Rally
What are people of conscience suppose to do in response to the
unspeakable acts of barbarism being perpetrated daily by Israel? In
America, they can still go out on the streets and protest. This is what
happened on Sat., Aug. 12, 2006, in Washington, D.C. A rally at Lafayette
Park, near the White House, organized by Arab-Americans, protested the
relentless terror bombing of innocent civilians in Gaza and Lebanon by the
Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF). (includes JPEG image)

FOCUS | Seymour M. Hersh: Watching Lebanon
According to Seymour Hersh, President Bush and
Vice-President Dick Cheney were convinced,
current and former intelligence and diplomatic officials told me, that a
successful Israeli Air Force bombing campaign against Hezbollah's heavily
fortified underground-missile and command-and-control complexes in
Lebanon could ease Israel's security concerns and also serve as a prelude
to a potential American pre-emptive attack to destroy Iran's nuclear
installations, some of which are also buried deep underground.

Robert Fisk: As the 6am ceasefire takes effect... the real war begins
Published: 14 August 2006

Antiwar Camp in Israel Comes Out of Bunker
The decision to expand the ground offensive galvanizes a dormant, wary
peace movement.
By Laura King
Times Staff Writer
August 11, 2006,0,6106699.story?coll=la-home-headlines

Robert Fisk: Hizbollah's iron discipline is match for military machine
Published: 11 August 2006

90 Miles and Light-Years Away
New York Times Editorial
August 10, 2006

"Toxic environment" making kids fat, study claims:
Unhealthy, addictive food is behind today's obesity
epidemic, a scientist says.

‘None of the Above’ Stricken From Ballot
August 13, 2006
NASHVILLE, Aug. 12 (AP) — A man running for governor and
the United States Senate does not have the right to use his
middle name, None of the Above, on the November ballot,
a court ruled Friday.
The candidate, David Gatchell, filed a lawsuit in Davidson County
Chancery Court after the State Election Commission voted to bar
his middle name from the ballot. The court handles lawsuits
against state agencies.
Chancellor Carol McCoy also ruled that Mr. Gatchell’s effort
to add an issue-oriented notification on the ballot was against
state law. And Ms. McCoy said the state had no constitutional
requirement to place candidates’ full names on ballots.
Mr. Gatchell, who changed his middle name from Leroy, said
he would appeal. He argued that several state candidates, like
Walt Combat Ward and Carl Twofeathers Whitaker, had been
allowed to include their nicknames on ballots, and that his
middle name was widely known.

Bush Proposes Retroactive War Crime Protection
The Bush administration
drafted amendments to the War Crimes Act that would retroactively
protect policymakers from possible criminal charges for authorizing any
humiliating and degrading treatment of detainees, according to lawyers who
have seen the proposal. The move by the administration is the latest
effort to deal with treatment of those taken into custody in the war on

Hizballah: A Primer
Lara Deeb
July 31, 2006, 11 pages
(Lara Deeb, a cultural anthropologist, is assistant professor
of women’s studies at the University of California-Irvine. She
is author of An Enchanted Modern: Gender and Public Piety
in Shi’i Lebanon.)
Hizballah, the Lebanese Shi’i movement whose militia is
fighting the Israeli army in south Lebanon, has been cast
misleadingly in much media coverage of the ongoing war.
Much more than a militia, the movement is also a political
party that is a powerful actor in Lebanese politics and
a provider of important social services. Not a creature
of Iranian and Syrian sponsorship, Hizballah arose
to battle Israel’s occupation of south Lebanon from
1982-2000 and, more broadly, to advocate for Lebanon’s
historically disenfranchised Shi’i Muslim community.
While it has many political opponents in Lebanon,
Hizballah is very much of Lebanon -- a fact that Israel’s
military campaign is highlighting.

Feeding Ourselves: Organic Urban Gardens in Caracas, Venezuela
Written by April M. Howard
Thursday, 10 August 2006

FOCUS | Baghdad Morgue Tallies 1,815 Bodies in July
Figures compiled by the city morgue indicated Wednesday that the
number of killings in the Iraqi capital reached a new high last month,
and the US military said a new effort to bring security to Baghdad
will succeed only if Iraqis "want it to work." The Baghdad morgue
took in 1,815 bodies during July, according to the facility's assistant
manager, Abdul Razzaq al-Obeidi. The previous month's tally was
1,595. Obeidi estimated that as many as 90 percent of the total
died violent deaths.